Reinhold Niebuhr - Sense Quotes
5 Sourced Quotes
Nothing worth doing is completed in our lifetime; therefore, we are saved by hope. Nothing true or beautiful or good makes complete sense in any immediate context of history; therefore, we are saved by faith. Nothing we do, however virtuous, can be accomplished alone; therefore, we are saved by love. No virtuous act is quite as virtuous from the standpoint of our friend or foe as from our own; therefore, we are saved by the final form of love, which is forgiveness.
My personal attitude toward atheists is the same attitude that I have toward Christians, and would be governed by a very orthodox text: "By their fruits shall ye know them." I wouldn't judge a man by the presuppositions of his life, but only by the fruits of his life. And the fruits — the relevant fruits — are, I'd say, a sense of charity, a sense of proportion, a sense of justice. And whether the man is an atheist or a Christian, I would judge him by his fruits, and I have therefore many agnostic friends.
Nothing that is worth doing can be achieved in our lifetime; therefore we must be saved by hope. Nothing which is true or beautiful or good makes complete sense in any immediate context of history; therefore we must be saved by faith. Nothing we do, however virtuous, can be accomplished alone; therefore we are saved by love.
I know that the Communists are atheistic and godless, but I don't think that that's what's primarily the matter with them. What's primarily the matter with them is that they worship a false god. That's much more dangerous than when people don't believe anything; they may be confused, they may not have a sense of the meaning of life, but they're not dangerous. The fanatic is dangerous. The Communists do have a god, the Dialectic of History, which guarantees everything that they're going to do and guarantees them victory; that's why they're fanatic.