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Quotes of the day: Harry Emerson Fosdick
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Published Saturday, May 23, 2015 @ 3:15 PM EDT
May 23 2015

Harry Emerson Fosdick (May 24, 1878 – October 5, 1969) was an American pastor. Fosdick became a central figure in the "Fundamentalist-Modernist Controversy" within American Protestantism in the 1920s and 1930s and was one of the most prominent liberal ministers of the early 20th Century. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)

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All Fundamentalists are conservatives, but not all conservatives are Fundamentalists. The best conservatives can often give lessons to the liberals in true liberality of spirit, but the Fundamentalist program is essentially illiberal and intolerant.

At very best, a person wrapped up in himself makes a small package.

But real Christians do not carry their religion, their religion carries them. It is not weight, it is wings.

Christians are supposed not merely to endure change, nor even to profit by it, but to cause it.

Democracy is based upon the conviction that there are extraordinary possibilities in ordinary people.

Don't simply retire from something; have something to retire to.

God is not a cosmic bell-boy for whom we can press a button to get things done.

Hating people is like burning down your own home to get rid of a rat.

He who cannot rest, cannot work; he who cannot let go, cannot hold on; he who cannot find footing, cannot go forward.

He who chooses the beginning of a road chooses the place it leads to. It is the means that determine the end.

He who knows no hardships will know no hardihood. He who faces no calamity will need no courage.

Hold a picture of yourself long and steadily enough in your mind's eye and you will be drawn toward it. Picture yourself vividly as defeated and that alone will make victory impossible. Picture yourself vividly as winning, and that alone will contribute immeasurably to success. Do not picture yourself as anything and you will drift like a derelict.

I would rather live in a world where my life is surrounded by mystery than live in a world so small that my mind could comprehend it.

Liberty is always dangerous, but it is the safest thing we have.

Life consists not simply in what heredity and environment do to us but in what we make out of what they do to us.

Life is like a library owned by the author. In it are a few books which he wrote himself, but most of them were written for him.

Mysterious though it is, the characteristics in human nature which we love best grow in a soil with a strong mixture of troubles.

No existent theology can be a final formulation of spiritual truth.

One of the widest gaps in human experience is the gap between what we say we want to be and our willingness to discipline ourselves to get there.

Peace is an awareness of reserves from beyond ourselves, so that our power is not so much in us as through us.

Real Christians do not carry their religion, their religion carries them. It is not weight, it is wings.

Self-pity gets you nowhere.

The best conservatives can often give lessons to the liberals in true liberality of spirit, but the Fundamentalist program is essentially illiberal and intolerant.

The stars are not so strange as the mind that studies them, analyzes their light, and measures their distances.

Watch what people are cynical about, and one can often discover what they lack.

Whatever the situation and however disheartening it may be, it is a great hour when a man ceases adopting difficulties as an excuse for despondency and tackles himself as the real problem. No mood need be his master.

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(May 24 is also the birthday of Bob Dylan.)


Categories: Harry Emerson Fosdick, Quotes of the day


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