100 Best Reinhold Niebuhr Quotes From The Reformed Theologian

'The Irony Of American History' is a book written by Reinhold Niebuhr.
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The full name of Reinhold Niebuhr is Karl Paul Reinhold Niebuhr.

Niebuhr was born in 1892. He was an ethicist and reformed theologian from America.

He is also known as a commentator on public affairs and politics. He was a professor for over 30 years at Union Theological Seminary.

If you liked reading these Reinhold Niebuhr quotes, you can also check out these Jonathan Edwards quotes and John Owen quotes.

Reinhold Niebuhr Famous Quotes

Here, we have collected the best Reinhold Niebuhr quotes about democracy, injustice, and more for you to read. You might also find some 'The Irony Of American History' quotes from Reinhold Niebuhr's book here.

1. "Comfort the afflicted, and afflict the comfortable."

- Reinhold Niebuhr.

2. "... we must be saved by love."

- Reinhold Niebuhr.

3. "The mastery of nature is vainly believed to be an adequate substitute for self-mastery."

- Reinhold Niebuhr.

4. "Man is his own most vexing problem."

- Reinhold Niebuhr.

5. "Whether the man is an atheist or a Christian, I would judge him by his fruits, and I have therefore many agnostic friends."

- Reinhold Niebuhr.

6. "If the man of power were to take a message of absolute honesty and absolute love seriously he would lose his power, or would divest himself of it."

- Reinhold Niebuhr.

7. "The recalcitrant forces in the historical drama have a power and persistence beyond our reckoning."

- Reinhold Niebuhr.

8. "Man is both strong and weak, both free and bound, both blind and far-seeing."

- Reinhold Niebuhr.

9. "Humor is a prelude to faith and laughter is the beginning of prayer."

- Reinhold Niebuhr.

10. "Laughter is swallowed up in prayer and humor is fulfilled by faith."

- Reinhold Niebuhr.

11. "The dimension of the depth in consciousness of religion creates the tension between what is and what ought to be."

- Reinhold Niebuhr.

12. "Better not read books in which you make the acquaintance of the devil."

- Reinhold Niebuhr.

13. "I'm not afraid of too many things and I got that invincible kind of attitude from my father."

- Reinhold Niebuhr.

14. "Perhaps the most significant moral characteristic of a nation is its hypocrisy."

- Reinhold Niebuhr.

15. "I know that the Communists are atheistic and godless, but I don't think that that's what's primarily the matter with them."

- Reinhold Niebuhr.

16. "All known existence points beyond itself."

- Reinhold Niebuhr.

17. "Life is a battle between reason and faith in which each feeds upon the other, drawing sustenance from it and destroying it."

- Reinhold Niebuhr.

18. "The essence of man is his freedom."

- Reinhold Niebuhr.

19. "Man does not know himself truly except as he knows himself confronted by God."

- Reinhold Niebuhr.

Reinhold Niebuhr Worship Quotes

Find Reinhold Niebuhr quotes about God here.

This section includes some Reinhold Niebuhr Bible quotes, quotes about God by Reinhold Niebuhr, and Reinhold Niebuhr quotes about being without power. Look out for some Christian quotes about nature too in this list.

20. "God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference."

- Reinhold Niebuhr.

21. "There is no cure for the pride of a virtuous nation but pure religion."

- Reinhold Niebuhr.

22. "The cross symbolizes a cosmic as well as historic truth."

- Reinhold Niebuhr.

23. "All this talk about atheistic materialism and God-fearing American I think is beside the point; it’s a rather vapid form of religion."

- Reinhold Niebuhr.

24. "Faith is the final triumph over incongruity the final assertion of the meaningfulness of existence."

- Reinhold Niebuhr.

25. "Man is endowed by nature with organic relations to his fellow-men, and natural impulse prompts man to consider the needs of others even after they compete with his own."

- Reinhold Niebuhr.

26. "If you equate God's judgment with your judgment, you have a wrong religion."

- Reinhold Niebuhr.

27. "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.'"

- Reinhold Niebuhr.

28. "All human sin seems so much worse in its consequences than in its intentions."

- Reinhold Niebuhr.

29. "Certainly, anybody who says, in the eyes of God, is pretentious."

- Reinhold Niebuhr.

30. "God, grant me the patience with changes that take time, appreciation of all that I have, tolerance of those with different struggles, and the strength to get up and try again, one day at a time."

- Reinhold Niebuhr.

31. "To be religious is not to feel, but to be."

- Reinhold Niebuhr.

32. "Lord, grant me the strength to accept the things I cannot change."

- Reinhold Niebuhr.

33. "A genuine faith resolves the mystery of life by the mystery of God."

- Reinhold Niebuhr.

34. "The tendency to claim God as an ally for our partisan value and ends is the source of all religious fanaticism."

- Reinhold Niebuhr.

35. "Human existence is obviously distinguished from animal life by its qualified participation in creation."

- Reinhold Niebuhr.

36. "The prophet himself stands under the judgment which he preaches. If he does not know that, he is a false prophet."

- Reinhold Niebuhr.

37. "Nothing we do, however virtuous, can be accomplished alone..."

- Reinhold Niebuhr.

38. "If we can find God only as he is revealed in nature we have no moral God."

- Reinhold Niebuhr.

39. "Original sin is that thing about man which makes him capable of conceiving of his own perfection and incapable of achieving it."

- Reinhold Niebuhr.

Reinhold Niebuhr Quotes On Hope

Here are some quotes on hope by Reinhold Niebuhr.

40. "Nothing that is worth doing can be achieved in our lifetime; therefore we must be saved by hope."

- Reinhold Niebuhr.

41. "If we survive danger it steels our courage more than anything else."

- Reinhold Niebuhr.

42. "Goodness, armed with power, is corrupted."

- Reinhold Niebuhr.

43. "Aim for the stars and maybe you’ll reach the sky."

- Reinhold Niebuhr.

44. "There were experiences in previous centuries which might well have challenged this unqualified optimism."

- Reinhold Niebuhr.

45. "Nothing which is true or beautiful or good makes complete sense in any immediate context of history therefore we must be saved by faith."

- Reinhold Niebuhr.

46. "What is funny about us is precisely that we take ourselves too seriously."

- Reinhold Niebuhr.

47. "We take, and must continue to take, morally hazardous actions to preserve our civilization."

- Reinhold Niebuhr.

48. "History is a realm in which human freedom and natural necessity are curiously intermingled."

- Reinhold Niebuhr.

49. "Reason may extend and stabilise, but it does not create, the capacity to affirm other life than his own."

- Reinhold Niebuhr.

50. "Man stands at the juncture of nature and spirit; and is involved in both freedom and necessity."

- Reinhold Niebuhr.

Reinhold Niebuhr Quotes On Change

In this section you can read some Reinhold Niebuhr quotes on courage and change.

51. "Change what cannot be accepted and accept what cannot be changed."

- Reinhold Niebuhr.

52. "There must be equality of all men before God and in a democratic society. Now that’s one of the great achievements."

- Reinhold Niebuhr.

53. "It is significant that it is as difficult to get charity out of piety as to get reasonableness out of rationalism."

- Reinhold Niebuhr.

54. "The will-to-live becomes the will-to-power."

- Reinhold Niebuhr.

55. "Toleration of people who differ in habits and convictions requires a residual awareness of the complexity of truth and the possibility of opposing view having some light on one or the other facet of a many-sided truth."

- Reinhold Niebuhr.

56. "I think there ought to be a club in which preachers and journalists could come together and have the sentimentalism of the one matched with the cynicism of the other. That ought to bring them pretty close to the truth."

- Reinhold Niebuhr.

57. "Our age knows nothing but reaction, and leaps from one extreme to another."

- Reinhold Niebuhr.

Reinhold Niebuhr Quotes On Goodness

Here you can read some Reinhold Niebuhr quotes about nothing but goodness.

58. "Reason tends to check selfish impulses and to grant the satisfaction of legitimate impulses in others."

- Reinhold Niebuhr.

59. "No virtuous act is quite as virtuous from the standpoint of our friend or foe as it is from our standpoint."

- Reinhold Niebuhr, 'The Irony Of American History'.

60. "Evil is not to be traced back to the individual but to the collective behavior of humanity."

- Reinhold Niebuhr.

61. "Ultimately evil is done not so much by evil people, but by good people who do not know themselves and who do not probe deeply."

- Reinhold Niebuhr.

62. "The individual or the group which organizes any society, however social its intentions or pretensions, arrogates an inordinate portion of social privilege to itself."

- Reinhold Niebuhr.

63. "The chief source of man’s inhumanity to man seems to be the tribal limits of his sense of obligation to other men."

- Reinhold Niebuhr.

64. "Not necessarily every standard that every church tries to enforce upon the society is from the society's standpoint a good standard."

- Reinhold Niebuhr.

65. "The more complex the world situation becomes, the more scientific and rational analysis you have to have, the less you can do with simple goodwill and sentiment."

- Reinhold Niebuhr.

Reinhold Niebuhr Love Quotes

Find Reinhold Niebuhr quotes about love, demoracy, and more here.

Here, you can read Reinhold Niebuhr quotes about serenity and love from the American reformed theologian.

66. "Forgiveness is the final form of love."

- Reinhold Niebuhr.

67. "The significance of the law of love is precisely that it is not just another law, but a law which transcends all law."

- Reinhold Niebuhr.

68. "Love conquers the world, but its victory is not an easy one."

- Reinhold Niebuhr.

69. "Pure love without power is destroyed."

- Reinhold Niebuhr.

70. "All you earnest young men out to save the world... Please, have a laugh."

- Reinhold Niebuhr.

71. "Love is the motive, but justice is the instrument."

- Reinhold Niebuhr.

72. "Human beings are endowed by nature with both selfish and unselfish impulses."

- Reinhold Niebuhr.

73. "Every experience proves that the real problem of our existence lies in the fact that we ought to love one another, but do not."

- Reinhold Niebuhr.

74. "Family life is too intimate to be preserved by the spirit of justice. It can be sustained by a spirit of love which goes beyond justice."

- Reinhold Niebuhr.

Reinhold Niebuhr Quotes On Money And Politics

Looking for more Reinhold Niebuhr quotes. Political quotes from Reinhold Niebuhr are not hard to find. This section of Reinhold Niebuhr famous quotes is all about Reinhold Niebuhr quotes on money and politics. Look out for some Reinhold Neibuhr quotes on democracy too.

75. "The sad duty of politics is to establish justice in a sinful world."

- Reinhold Niebuhr.

76. "Man's capacity for justice makes democracy possible, but man's inclination to injustice makes democracy necessary."

- Reinhold Niebuhr.

77. "There are historic situations in which refusal to defend the inheritance of a civilization, however imperfect, against tyranny and aggression may result in consequences even worse than war."

- Reinhold Niebuhr.

78. "The whole art of politics consists in directing rationally the irrationalities of men."

- Reinhold Niebuhr.

79. "The stupidity of the average man will permit the oligarch, whether economic or political, to hide his real purposes from the scrutiny of his fellows and to withdraw his activities from effective control."

- Reinhold Niebuhr.

80. "The fence and the boundary line are the symbols of the spirit of justice."

- Reinhold Niebuhr.

81. "Marxism was the social creed and the social cry of those classes who knew by their miseries that the creed of the liberal optimists was a snare and a delusion."

- Reinhold Niebuhr.

82. "All social cooperation on a larger scale than the most intimate social group requires a measure of coercion."

- Reinhold Niebuhr.

83. "Religion mustn’t interfere with the state - so one of the basic Democratic principles as we know it in America is the separation of church and state."

- Reinhold Niebuhr.

84. "Democracies are indeed slow to make war, but once embarked upon a martial venture are equally slow to make peace and reluctant to make a tolerable, rather than a vindictive, peace."

- Reinhold Niebuhr.

85. "Despotism, which we regard with abhorrence, is rather too plausible in decaying feudal, agrarian, pastoral societies."

- Reinhold Niebuhr.

86. "Democracy is finding proximate solutions to insoluble problems."

- Reinhold Niebuhr.

The Best Reinhold Niebuhr Quotes

This section includes some of the best Reinhold Niebuhr quotes by the reformed theologian.

87. "The final wisdom of life requires not the annulment of incongruity but the achievement of serenity within and above it."

- Reinhold Niebuhr.

88. "All men who live with any degree of serenity live by some assurance of grace."

- Reinhold Niebuhr.

89. "Therefore we must be saved by the final form of love which is forgiveness."

- Reinhold Niebuhr.

90. "The society in which each man lives is at once the basis for, and the nemesis of, that fullness of life which each man seeks."

- Reinhold Niebuhr.

91. "One of the fundamental points about religious humility is you say you don't know about the ultimate judgment. It's beyond your judgment."

- Reinhold Niebuhr.

92. "Nationalism: One of the effective ways in which the modern man escapes life's ethical problems."

- Reinhold Niebuhr.

93. "A republic properly understood is a sovereignty of justice, in contradistinction to a sovereignty of will."

- Reinhold Niebuhr.

94. "Cheese, wine, and a friend must be old to be good."

- Reinhold Niebuhr.

95. "A wise architect observed that you could break the laws of architectural art provided you had mastered them first."

- Reinhold Niebuhr.

96. "Sin can therefore not be attributed to a defect in man's essence."

- Reinhold Niebuhr.

97. "Great talents have some admirers, but few friends."

- Reinhold Niebuhr.

98. “Without the presuppositions of the Christian faith the individual is either nothing or becomes everything.”

- Reinhold Niebuhr, 'The Nature And Destiny Of Man'.

99. "Reason is not the sole basis of moral virtue in man. His social impulses are more deeply rooted than his rational life."

- Reinhold Niebuhr.

100. "Frantic orthodoxy is never rooted in faith but in doubt. It is when we are unsure that we are doubly sure."

- Reinhold Niebuhr.

At Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly quotes for everyone to enjoy! If you liked these Reinhold Neibhur quotes, then why not check out these Thomas Aquinas quotes or St Augustine quotes too?

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