Wednesday, May 09, 2018

Niebuhr: beyond optimism

Wednesday, May 9, 2018
    For [the Father] has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation.
    —Colossians 1:13-15 (NIV)
    Ultimate confidence in the goodness of life cannot rest upon confidence in the goodness of man. If that is where it rests, it is an optimism which will suffer ultimate disillusionment. Romanticism will be transmuted into cynicism, as it has always been in the world’s history. The faith of a Christian is something quite different from this optimism. It is trust in God, in a good God who created a good world, though the world is not now good; in a good God, powerful and good enough finally to destroy the evil that men do and redeem them of their sins. This kind of faith is not optimism. It does not, in fact, arise until optimism breaks down and men cease to trust in themselves that they are righteous.
    ... Reinhold Niebuhr (1892-1971), Beyond Tragedy, New York: C. Scribner’s Sons, 1937, p. 131 (see the book)
    See also Pr. 3:5; Gen. 1:31; 3:17; Ps. 118:9; Luke 18:9-14; John 15:18-19; Rom. 10:3; Col. 1:13-15
Quiet time reflection:
    Lord, You provide our only hope.
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