Monday, July 6, 2015

Reinhold Neibuhr

Karl Paul Reinhold Niebuhr (1892-1971). German-American Pastor, teacher, apologetic theologian, author and political activist. Best known for his Serenity Prayer. Reinhold was born in 1892 in Wright City, Mo to Pastor Gustav and American-born Lydia Niebuhr. He moved with his family to St. Charles, MO. where they lived until he was nine. His younger brother, also ordained, was Helmut Richard Niebuhr (1894-1962).
He received his education at Elmhurt College, graduating in 1910 and at Eden Theological Seminary (f. in 1850) near St. Louis (seminary archives are located at 475 East Lockwood Ave, Webster Groves, MO.) before he attended Yale Divinity School and entered the ministry of the German Evangelical Synod of North America (presently known as the United Church of Christ).
From 1915 to 1928, he pastored the Bethel Evangelical church in Detroit, Michigan. He wrote his first book there called "Does Civilization Need Religion?" (1927). In 1928, he was offered a professorship of ethics at Union Theological Seminary in New York City.
He was the founder and editor (1941-1966) of a magazine called "Christianity and Crisis". His best known books include "Moral Man and Immoral Society;" "Leaves from the Notebook of a Tamed Cynic;" "The Nature and Destiny of Man;" and "The Irony of American History." Through his lectures, writing and other activities, he sought to achieve social justice through church and political means. In recognition of his contribution to American life, Reinhold Niebuhr was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1964.

Serenity Prayer.
By Reinhold Neibuhr.

GOD, grant me the Serenity
to accept the things I cannot change,
Courage to change the things I can
and the Wisdom to know the difference.
Living one day at a time:
Enjoying one moment at a time;
Accepting hardship
as the pathway to peace.
Taking, as He did, this
sinful world as it is,
not as I would have it.
Trusting that He will make
all things right if I
surrender to His Will;
That I may be reasonably happy
in this life, and supremely
happy with Him forever in the next.

More to Read:
1. Dictionary of Christianity in America. Ed. By Reid, Linder, Shelley, & Stout. Intervarsity Press, 1990.
3. "The Life and Thought of a Christian Realist, Reinhold Niebuhr" By George C. Anderson.
4. Inspirational Story
5. Wikipedia
6. Missouri: Day by Day. By Floyd C. Shoemaker, Editor. Mo State Historical Society, 1942.
7. Reinhold's Memorial  Findagrave # 763
8. Helmut's Memorial Findagrave # 15168048

1 comment:

  1. Thanks! I love it, great job. Very interesting and concisely written. Keep it up!


Ever since I heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints, I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers. I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. ~ Ephesians 1:15-17.