Quotes by Reinhold Niebuhr

Democracy is finding proximate solutions to insoluble problems.
– Reinhold Niebuhr
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
Forgiveness is the final form of love.
– Reinhold Niebuhr
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
If we survive danger it steels our courage more than anything else.
– Reinhold Niebuhr
Life is a battle between faith and reason in which each feeds upon the other, drawing sustenance from it and destroying it.
– Reinhold Niebuhr
Man's capacity for justice makes democracy possible, but man's inclination to injustice makes democracy necessary.
– Reinhold Niebuhr
Nothing that is worth doing can be achieved in a lifetime; therefore we must be saved by hope.
– Reinhold Niebuhr
Nothing we do, however virtuous, can be accomplished alone; therefore we are saved by love.
– Reinhold Niebuhr
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
Our age knows nothing but reaction, and leaps from one extreme to another.
– Reinhold Niebuhr
The final test of religious faith is whether it will enable men to endure insecurity without complacency or despair, whether it can so interpret the ancient verities that they will not become mere escape hatches from responsibilities but instruments of insights into what civilization means.
– Reinhold Niebuhr
The mastery of nature is vainly believed to be an adequate substitute for self mastery.
– Reinhold Niebuhr
The sad duty of politics is to establish justice in a sinful world.
– Reinhold Niebuhr
There is no cure for the pride of a virtuous nation but pure religion.
– Reinhold Niebuhr
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
The tendency to claim God as an ally for our partisan value and ends is the source of all religious fanaticism.
– Reinhold Niebuhr
The final wisdom of life requires not the annulment of incongruity but the achievement of serenity within and above it.
– Reinhold Niebuhr
If we can find God only as he is revealed in nature we have no moral God.
– Reinhold Niebuhr
Goodness, armed with power, is corrupted and pure love without power is destroyed.
– Reinhold Niebuhr