May 11, 2015

Faith, hope, love, foregiveness

I feel lucky to have been a second generation student, sort of, of Reinhold Niebuhr, one of the 20th century's greatest theologians. To be more specific,the Rev. William Kirkland,  an Episcopal priest who studied under Niebuhr, was a major influence on my life. He even taught my reluctantly agreed to confirmation classes when I was in junior high.

Here's a little sample from the vast treasury of Niebuhr's thought:

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

No comments: