Faith & Social Justice: In the spirit of Richard Overton and the 17th C. Levellers

Thought for the Day

“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, could be accomplished alone; therefore, we must be saved by love. No virtuous act is quite as virtuous from the standpoint of our friend or foe as it is from our own standpoint; therefore, we must be saved by the final form of love, which is forgiveness.” – Reinhold Niebuhr

Pacifists like myself don’t usually quote Reinhold Niebuhr, who converted from a liberal form of pacifism to become one of the strongest anti-pacifist theologians of the 20th Century. But Reinie (as friends and even students called him) was a very complex and multi-layered person and there is much in his thought worth close attention even today. This quote is one of my favorites and makes a good thought of the day.

November 29, 2006 - Posted by | theology

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