How do we know that the Bible is the Word of God and not the Qur’an, the Book of Mormon, etc.?

The question of which (if any) religious text is the true word of God is of utmost importance. To avoid circular reasoning, the first question we must ask is: how would we know if God communicated in the first place? Well, God would have to communicate in a manner that people could understand, but that also means that people could make up their own messages and simply claim that they came from God. So, it seems reasonable to think that if God wanted to authenticate His communication He would have to verify it in a manner that could not be duplicated by mere humans – in other words, by miracles. This narrows the field considerably.

Beyond the evidence for the Bible’s correctness (manuscript evidence) and its historicity (archeological evidence), the most important evidence is that of its inspiration. The real determination of the Bible’s claim to absolute inspired truth is in its supernatural evidence, including prophecy. God used prophets to speak and write down His Word and God uses miracles like fulfilled prophecy to authenticate His messengers. For example, inGenesis 12:7, God promises that the land of Israel was to be for Abraham and his descendants. In 1948 Israel was returned back to the Jewish people for the second time in history. This may not seem so astonishing until you realize that no nation in the history of the world has been scattered from its homeland and returned! Israel has done it twice. The book of Daniel predicts with accuracy the coming of the four great kingdoms from Babylon, to Medo-Persia, to Greece, to Rome centuries before some of those kingdoms came on the scene (a time span of over 1,000 years!) with details concerning how they would rule and be broken. This includes the reigns of Alexander the Great and Antiochus Epiphanies.

In Ezekiel 26 we can see in astonishing detail how the city of Tyre was to be destroyed, how it would be torn down, and how its debris would be thrown into the sea. When Alexander the Great marched on that area, he encountered a group of people holed up in a tower on an island off the coast near there. He could not cross the sea, so he could not fight those in the tower. Rather than wait them out, the proud conqueror had his army throw stones into the sea to build a land bridge to the tower. It worked. His army crossed the sea and overthrew the occupants of the stronghold. But where did he get so much stone? The rocks that were used for the land bridge were the leftover rubble from the city of Tyre . . . its stones cast into the sea!

There are so many prophecies concerning Christ (over 270!) that it would take more than a few screens worth of space to list them all. Further, Jesus would have had no control over many of them such as His birthplace or time of birth. Second, the odds of one man accidentally fulfilling even 16 of these are 1 in 10^45. How many is that? For comparison, there are less than 10^82 atoms in the entire universe! And Jesus, who affirmed the Bible as the Word of God, proved His reliability and deity by His resurrection (an historical fact not easily ignored).

Now consider the Quran – its author, Muhammad, performed no miracles to back up his message (even when he was asked to by his followers – Sura 17:91-95; 29:47-51). Only in much later tradition (the Hadith) do any alleged miracles even show up and these are all quite fanciful (like Muhammad cutting the moon in half) and have zero reliable testimony to back them up. Further, the Quran makes clear historical errors. Muslims believe the Bible is inspired but with some errors from editing (Sura 2:136 as well as Suras 13, 16, 17, 20, 21, 23, 25). The question they cannot adequately answer is: “When was the Bible corrupted?” If they say before 600 A.D. then how can the Quran admonish believers to read it? If they claim it was after 600 A.D., then they have jumped out of the frying pan and into the fire, for we have absolutely no doubt as to the accuracy of biblical manuscripts from at least the 3rd century forward. Even if Christianity were false, the Quran still has an insurmountable problem because it makes judgments against Christians for believing things that they do not (nor have they ever) believed. For example, the Quran teaches that Christians believe the Trinity is the Father, the Mother (Mary), and the Son (Sura 5:73-75, 116), and the Quran also teaches that Christians believe that God had sex with Mary to have a son (Suras 2:116; 6:100-101; 10:68; 16:57; 19:35; 23:91; 37:149-151; 43:16-19). If the Quran is really from God, then it should at least be able to accurately report what Christians believe.

Joseph Smith, the author of the Book of Mormon, tried to do some miracles such as prophecy (a test for a true prophet in Deuteronomy 18:21-22) but failed several times. He foretold of Christ’s second coming in History of the Church (HC) 2:382. Joseph Smith preached that the coming of the Lord would be in 56 years (about 1891). The second coming did not occur in 1891, and the Mormon Church does not claim that it did. Nor has it occurred since. He also prophesied that several cities would be destroyed in Doctrine and Covenants (D&C) 84:114-115. New York, Albany and Boston were to be destroyed if they rejected the gospel according to Smith. Joseph Smith himself went to New York, Albany, and Boston and preached there. These cities did not accept his gospel, yet they have not been destroyed. Another famous false prophecy of Joseph Smith was his “END OF ALL NATIONS” in D&C 87 concerning the rebellion of South Carolina in the war between the states. The South was supposed to call on Great Britain for aid, and as a result war would be poured out upon all nations; slaves would revolt; the inhabitants of the earth would mourn; famine, plague, earthquake, thunder, lightning, and a full end of all nations would result. The South finally did revolt in 1861, but the slaves did not rise up, war was not poured out upon all nations, there was no worldwide famine, plague, earthquake, etc., and there was no resulting “end of all nations.”

The Bible so far outshines every competing source for being God’s revelation that if it is not God’s Word, it would seem impossible to choose among the leftovers. If the Bible is not God’s Word, then we have been left with no clear criteria by which to know what might be.

Source:GotQuestions.org

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What’s the difference between Jesus and the religions in the world?


Let’s take a brief look at some of the major aspects of Jesus Christ, which stand in stark contrast to what’s in the world’s religions.

1. Jesus Christ pursues a relationship with us.Have you ever been in a relationship where you were always the one who was initiating? They are tiresome and usually don’t last very long. Best friends are the ones who enjoy each other so much that they invest their time equally in pursuit of that relationship. Unlike religions that try to reach their God, with Christ you see God reaching out to us. Jesus Christ said why he came: “that you might have life, and have it more abundantly.” He came to give us an eternal life with him, for those who will believe in him.

2. Jesus claimed to be God. No world religion’s key figure claimed to be God.

3. Jesus lived a perfect life and showed his deity in the miracles he performed…healing the blind, quieting a violent storm at sea, raising people from the dead, instantly providing food for thousands of people. World religions have leaders who gave interesting messages, but none of them showed their miraculous power like Jesus did. Jesus said, “Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the miracles themselves.”

4. In many world religions people whip themselves for their sins or perform extensive self-sacrificing rituals. Jesus offers us forgiveness because as God, he paid for our sin for us. “God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” On the cross, Jesus carried all of our sins for us and paid for them.

5. Jesus rose from the dead three days after he was crucified. Many religions talk about reincarnation. Jesus, on a number of occasions, told others that he would be crucified and would then rise from the dead three days later. Jesus wanted to publicly prove his deity beyond any doubt. The Roman authorities were aware of this, and so posted an 11-14 man Roman guard outside Jesus tomb, and sealed it with a Roman insignia warning people to stand clear. Yet, three days later his body was gone from the tomb and Jesus showed himself alive to more than 500 people. No world religion claims that their central figure physically rose from the dead or even said that they would.

6. The message of the Bible is unique. It is not a compilation of poetic, disjointed ideas. The Bible reveals God and His plan for our lives. It records for us that something in history went wrong and that the relationship we had with God was broken. It tells us how to restore that relationship and what the benefits are of doing that.

Source:EveryStudent.com

John 3:16

One cold, dark night, a blizzard was setting in. A little boy was selling newspapers on the corner, while other people were in and out of the cold. The little boy was so cold that he wasn’t trying to sell many papers. He walked up to a policeman and said, “Mister, you wouldn’t happen to know where a poor boy could find a warm place to sleep tonight would you? You see, I sleep in a box up around the corner there and down the alley, and it’s awful cold in there at night. It sure would be nice to have a warm place to stay.”

The policeman looked down at the little boy and said, “You go down the street to that big white house and you knock on the door. When they open the door you just say ‘John 3:16’ and they will let you in.”

So the boy walked up the steps to the door, and knocked on the door and a lady answered. The little boy looked up and said, “John 3:16.”

The lady said “Come on in, Son.” She took him in and she sat him down in a split bottom rocker in front of a great big old fireplace and she went off. He sat there for a while, and thought to himself “John 3:16… I don’t understand it, but it sure makes a cold boy feel warm.”

Later she came back and asked him “Are you hungry?”

He said, “Well, just a little. I haven’t eaten in a couple of days and guess I could stand a little bit of food.”

The lady took him in the kitchen and sat him down to a table full of wonderful food. He ate and ate until he couldn’t eat any more. Then he thought to himself “John 3:16… Boy, I sure I don’t understand it, but it sure makes a hungry boy feel full.”

She took him upstairs to a bathroom to a huge bathtub filled with warm water and he sat there and soaked for a while. As he soaked, he thought to himself, “John 3:16… I sure don’t understand it, but it sure makes a dirty boy feel clean. You know, I’ve not had a bath, a real bath, in my whole life. The only bath I ever had was when I stood in front of that big old fire hydrant as they flushed it out.”

The lady came in and got him, and took him to a room and tucked him into a big old feather bed and pulled the covers up around his neck and kissed him goodnight and turned out the lights. As he laid in the darkness and looked out the window at the snow coming down on that cold night he thought to himself, “John 3:16… I don’t understand it, but it sure makes a tired boy feel rested.”

The next morning she came back up and took him down again to that same big table full of food. After he ate she took him back to that same big old split bottom rocker in front of the fireplace and she got a big old Bible and sat down in front of him and she looked up as she asked, “Do you understand John 3:16?”

He said, “No, Ma’am, I don’t. The first time I ever heard it was last night when the policeman told me to say John 3:16.”

She opened the Bible to John 3:16 , and she began to explain to him about Jesus. Right there in front of that big old fireplace he gave his heart and life to Jesus. He sat there and thought, “John 3:16, I don’t understand it, but it sure makes a lost boy feel safe.”

The lady then said: “You know, I have to confess I don’t I understand it either; how God would be willing to send His own Son to die for you and me, and how Jesus would agree to do such a thing. I don’t understand it either, but it sure does make life worth living.”

John 3:16:For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.(NIV)

Why Go to Church?

A church goer wrote a letter to the editor of a newspaper and complained that it made no sense to go to church every Sunday.

“I’ve gone for 30 years now,” he wrote, “and in that time I have heard something like 3,000 Sermons. But for the life of me, I can’t remember a single one of them. So, I think I’m wasting my time and the pastors are wasting theirs by giving sermons at all.”

This started a real controversy in the “Letters to the Editor” column, much to the delight of the editor. It went on for weeks until someone wrote this clincher: “I’ve been married for 30 years now. In that time my wife has cooked some 32,000 meals. But for the life of me, I cannot recall the entire menu for a single one of those meals. But I do know this: They all nourished me and gave me the strength I needed to do my work. If my wife had not given me these meals, I would be physically dead today.  Likewise, if I had not gone to church for nourishment, I would be spiritually dead today!”

What does the Bible say about the prosperity gospel?

In the prosperity gospel, also known as the “Word of Faith,” the believer is told to use God, whereas the truth of biblical Christianity is just the opposite—God uses the believer. Word of Faith or prosperity theology sees the Holy Spirit as a power to be put to use for whatever the believer wills. The Bible teaches that the Holy Spirit is a Person who enables the believer to do God’s will. The prosperity gospel movement closely resembles some of the destructive greed sects that infiltrated the early church. Paul and the other apostles were not accommodating to or conciliatory with the false teachers who propagated such heresy. They identified them as dangerous false teachers and urged Christians to avoid them.

Paul warned Timothy about such men in 1 Timothy 6:59-11. These men of “corrupt mind” supposed godliness was a means of gain and their desire for riches was a trap that brought them “into ruin and destruction” (v. 9). The pursuit of wealth is a dangerous path for Christians and one which God warns about: “For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs” (v. 10). If riches were a reasonable goal for the godly, Jesus would have pursued it. But He did not, preferring instead to have no place to lay His head (Matthew 8:20) and teaching His disciples to do the same. It should also be remembered that the only disciple concerned with wealth was Judas.

Paul said covetousness is idolatry (Ephesians 5:5) and instructed the Ephesians to avoid anyone who brought a message of immorality or covetousness (Ephesians 5:6-7). Prosperity teaching prohibits God from working on His own, meaning that God is not Lord of all because He cannot work until we release Him to do so. Faith, according to the Word of Faith doctrine, is not submissive trust in God; faith is a formula by which we manipulate the spiritual laws that prosperity teachers believe govern the universe. As the name “Word of Faith” implies, this movement teaches that faith is a matter of what we say more than whom we trust or what truths we embrace and affirm in our hearts.

A favorite term in the Word of Faith movement is “positive confession.” This refers to the teaching that words themselves have creative power. What you say, Word of Faith teachers claim, determines everything that happens to you. Your confessions, especially the favors you demand of God, must all be stated positively and without wavering. Then God is required to answer (as though man could require anything of God!). Thus, God’s ability to bless us supposedly hangs on our faith. James 4:13-16 clearly contradicts this teaching: “Now listen, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.’ Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.” Far from speaking things into existence in the future, we do not even know what tomorrow will bring or even whether we will be alive.

Instead of stressing the importance of wealth, the Bible warns against pursuing it. Believers, especially leaders in the church (1 Timothy 3:3), are to be free from the love of money (Hebrews 13:5). The love of money leads to all kinds of evil (1 Timothy 6:10). Jesus warned, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions” (Luke 12:15). In sharp contrast to the Word of Faith emphasis on gaining money and possessions in this life, Jesus said, “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal” (Matthew 6:19). The irreconcilable contradictions between prosperity teaching and the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ is best summed up in the words of Jesus in Matthew 6:24, “You cannot serve both God and money.”

Sources :Extracts from gotquestions.org

Prophecies Fulfilled by Jesus Part III

Another 100 amazing prophecies fulfilled by Jesus

1. Isa. 50:6 Fulfilled in Mt. 27:30 (He was spat upon)
2. Isa. 52:7 Fulfilled in Luke 4:14-15 (To publish good tidings of peace)
3. Isa. 52:13 Fulfilled in Acts 1:8-11Eph. 1:19-22 (The Servant exalted)
4. Isa. 52:13 Fulfilled in Mt. 17:5Phil. 2:5-8 (Behold, My Servant)
5. Isa. 52:14 Fulfilled in Luke 18:31-34Mt. 26:67-68 (The Servant shockingly abused)
6. Isa. 52:15 Fulfilled in Rom. 15:18-21 (Nations startled by message of the Servant)
7. Isa. 52:15 Fulfilled in Rev. 1:5 (The sprinkling and shedding His blood to make intersession for all)
8. Isa. 53:1 Fulfilled in John 12:37-38 (His people would not believe Him)
9. Isa. 53:2 Fulfilled in Luke 2:7 (He would grow up in a poor family)
10. Isa. 53:2 Fulfilled in Phil. 2:7-8 (Appearance of an ordinary man)
11. Isa. 53:3 Fulfilled in Luke 4:28-29 (Despised)
12. Isa. 53:3 Fulfilled in Mt. 27:21-23 (Rejected)
13. Isa. 53:3 Fulfilled in Luke 19:41-42 (Great sorrow and grief)
14. Isa. 53:3 Fulfilled in Mark 14:50-52 (Men hide from being associated with Him)
15. Isa. 53:4 Fulfilled in Luke 6:17-19 (He would have a healing ministry)
16. Isa. 53:4 Fulfilled in 1 Pet. 2:24 (He would bear the sins of the world)
17. Isa. 53:4 Fulfilled in Mt. 27:41-43 (Thought to be cursed by God)
18. Isa. 53:5 Fulfilled in Luke 23:33 (Bears penalty for mankind’s transgressions)
19. Isa. 53:5 Fulfilled in Col. 1:20 (His sacrifice would provide peace between man and God)
20. Isa. 53:5 Fulfilled in Mt. 27:26 (His back would be whipped)
21. Isa. 53:6 Fulfilled in Gal. 1:4 (He would be the sin-bearer for all mankind)
22. Isa. 53:6 Fulfilled in 1 Jn. 4:10 (God’s will that He bear sin for all mankind)
23. Isa. 53:7 Fulfilled in Mt. 27:27-31 (Oppressed and afflicted)
24. Isa. 53:7 Fulfilled in Mt. 27:12-14 (Silent before his accusers)
25. Isa. 53:7 Fulfilled in John 1:29 (Sacrificial lamb)
26. Isa. 53:8 Fulfilled in Mt. 26:47-27:31 (Confined and persecuted)
27. Isa. 53:8 Fulfilled in Jn. 18:13-22 (He would be judged)
28. Isa. 53:8 Fulfilled in Mt. 27:35 (Killed)
29. Isa. 53:8 Fulfilled in 1 John 2:2 (Dies for the sins of the world)
30. Isa. 53:9 Fulfilled in Mt. 27:57 (Buried in a rich man’s grave)
31. Isa. 53:9 Fulfilled in Mk. 15:3 (Innocent and had done no violence)
32. Isa. 53:9 Fulfilled in John 18:38 (No deceit in his mouth)
33. Isa. 53:10 Fulfilled in John 18:11 (God’s will that He die for mankind)
34. Isa. 53:10 Fulfilled in Mt. 20:28 (An offering for sin)
35. Isa. 53:10 Fulfilled in Mk. 16:16 (Resurrected and live forever)
36. Isa. 53:10 Fulfilled in John 17:1-5 (He would prosper)
37. Isa. 53:11 Fulfilled in John 12:27 (God fully satisfied debt of sin with His suffering)
38. Isa. 53:11 Fulfilled in Rom. 5:18-19 (God’s servant)
39. Isa. 53:11 Fulfilled in Rom. 5:8-9 (He would justify man before God)
40. Isa. 53:11 Fulfilled in Heb. 9:28 (The sin-bearer for all mankind)
41. Isa. 53:12 Fulfilled in Mt. 28:18 (Exalted by God because of his sacrifice)
42. Isa. 53:12 Fulfilled in Luke 23:46 (He would give up his life to save mankind)
43. Isa. 53:12 Fulfilled in Luke 23:32 (Grouped with criminals)
44. Isa. 53:12 Fulfilled in 2 Cor. 5:21 (Sin-bearer for all mankind)
45. Isa. 53:12 Fulfilled in Luke 23:34 (Intercede to God in behalf of mankind)
46. Isa. 55:3 Fulfilled in Acts 13:34 (Resurrected by God)
47. Isa. 55:4 Fulfilled in John 18:37 (A witness)
48. Isa. 59:15-16 Fulfilled in John 6:40 (He would come to provide salvation)
49. Isa. 59:15-16 Fulfilled in Mt. 10:32 (Intercessor between man and God)
50. Isa. 59:20 Fulfilled in Luke 2:38 (He would come to Zion as their Redeemer)
51. Isa. 61:1-2 Fulfilled in Mt. 3:16-17 (The Spirit of God upon Him)
52. Isa. 61:1-2 Fulfilled in Luke 4:17-21 (The Messiah would preach the good news)
53. Isa. 61:1-2 Fulfilled in John 8:31-32 (Provide freedom from the bondage of sin and death)
54. Isa. 61:1-2 Fulfilled in John 5:24 (Proclaim a period of grace)
55. Jer.23:5-6 Fulfilled in Luke 3:23-31 (Descendant of David)
56. Jer. 23:5-6 Fulfilled in John 13:13 (The Messiah would be God)
57. Jer. 23:5-6 Fulfilled in 1 Tim. 3:16 (The Messiah would be both God and Man)
58. Jer. 31:22 Fulfilled in Mt. 1:18-20 (Born of a virgin)
59. Jer. 31:31 Fulfilled in Mt. 26:28 (The Messiah would be the new covenant)
60. Jer. 33:14-15 Fulfilled in Luke 3:23-31 (Descendant of David)
61. Eze.17:22-24 Fulfilled in Luke 3:23-31 (Descendant of David)
62. Eze.34:23-24 Fulfilled in Mt. 1:1 (Descendant of David)
63. Dan. 7:13-14 Fulfilled in Acts 1:9-11 (He would ascend into heaven)
64. Dan. 7:13-14 Fulfilled in Eph. 1:20-22 (Highly exalted)
65. Dan. 7:13-14 Fulfilled in Luke 1:31-33 (His dominion would be everlasting)
66. Dan. 9:24 Fulfilled in Gal. 1:3-5 (To make an end to sins)
67. Dan. 9:24 Fulfilled in Luke 1:35 (He would be holy)
68. Dan. 9:25 Fulfilled in John 12:12-13 (Announced to his people 483 years, to the exact day, after the decree to rebuild the city of Jerusalem)
69. Dan. 9:26 Fulfilled in Mt. 27:35 (Killed)
70. Dan. 9:26 Fulfilled in Heb. 2:9 (Die for the sins of the world)
71. Dan. 9:26 Fulfilled in Mt. 27:50-51 (Killed before the destruction of the temple)
72. Dan. 10:5-6 Fulfilled in Rev. 1:13-16 (Messiah in a glorified state)
73. Hos. 13:14 Fulfilled in 1 Cor. 15:55-57 (He would defeat death)
74. Joel 2:32 Fulfilled in Rom. 10:12-13 (Offer salvation to all mankind)
75. Mic. 5:2 Fulfilled in Mt. 2:1-2 (Born in Bethlehem)
76. Mic. 5:2 Fulfilled in John 15:10 (God’s servant)
77. Mic. 5:2 Fulfilled in John 8:58 (From everlasting)
78. Hag. 2:6-9 Fulfilled in Luke 2:27-32 (He would visit the second Temple)
79. Hag. 2:23 Fulfilled in Luke 3:23-27 (Descendant of Zerubbabel)
80. Zech. 3:8 Fulfilled in John 17:4 (God’s servant)
81. Zech. 6:12-13 Fulfilled in Heb. 8:1 (Priest and King)
82. Zech. 9:9 Fulfilled in Mt. 21:8-10 (Greeted with rejoicing in Jerusalem)
83. Zech. 9:9 Fulfilled in John 12:12-13 (Beheld as King)
84. Zech. 9:9 Fulfilled in John 5:30 (The Messiah would be just)
85. Zech. 9:9 Fulfilled in Luke 19:10 (The Messiah would bring salvation)
86. Zech. 9:9 Fulfilled in Mt. 11:29 (The Messiah would be humble)
87. Zech. 9:9 Fulfilled in Mt. 21:6-9 (Presented to Jerusalem riding on a donkey)
88. Zech. 10:4 Fulfilled in Eph. 2:20 (The cornerstone)
89. Zech. 11:4-6 Fulfilled in Mt. 23:1-4 (At His coming, Israel will have unfit leaders)
90. Zech. 11:4-6 Fulfilled in Luke 19:41-44 (Rejection causes God to remove His protection)
91. Zech. 11:4-6 Fulfilled in John 19:13-15 (Rejected in favor of another king)
92. Zech. 11:7 Fulfilled in Mt. 9:35-36 (Ministry to “poor,” the believing remnant)
93. Zech. 11:8 Fulfilled in Mt. 23:33 (Unbelief forces Messiah to reject them)
94. Zech. 11:8 Fulfilled in Mt. 27:20 (Despised)
95. Zech. 11:9 Fulfilled in Mt. 13:10-11 (Stops ministering to those who rejected Him)
96. Zech. 11:10-11 Fulfilled in Luke 19:41-44 (Rejection causes God to remove protection)
97. Zech. 11:10-11 Fulfilled in John 14:7 (The Messiah would be God)
98. Zech. 11:12-13 Fulfilled in Mt. 26:14-15 (Betrayed for thirty pieces of silver)
99. Zech. 11:12-13 Fulfilled in Mt. 26:14-15 (Rejected)
100. Zech. 11:12-13 Fulfilled in Mt. 27:3-5 (Thirty pieces of silver thrown into the house of the Lord)

Serenity Prayer

God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.

Living one day at a time;
Enjoying one moment at a time;
Accepting hardships 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.
Amen.

–Reinhold Niebuhr