Harry Emerson Fosdick, 1878 - 1969
Photo by Underwood & Underwood, New York City (1926)
Born: 24 May 1878, Buffalo, New York
Died: 5 October 1969, Bronxville, New York
Fosdick graduated from Colgate University in 1900, then entered Union Theological Seminary. He went to seminary as a fundamentalist, he left as a liberal. He was ordained as a Baptist minister in 1903 and served First Baptist Church at Montclair, New Jersey until 1915 when he returned to UTS to teach. In 1918 he was called to First Presbyterian Church in midtown New York City but his powerful preaching, including the widely circulated Shall the Fundamentalists Win?, aroused the attention of the national church and he was forced from that pulpit. John D. Rockefeller asked Fosdick to serve as pastor of Park Avenue Baptist Church but was rebuffed based on some narrow policies and the fact that the church was in too rich and comfortable an area; the policies were changed and Fosdick hired. Rockefeller funded Riverside Church at Morningside Heights, where Fosdick served until his retirement. Fosdick claimed to need a pen in his hand to think and wrote countless sermons, over thirty books, at least one great hymn, and these quotes.
Biography from Wikipedia
Additional quotes from Wikiquote. Wikiquote entries are "sourced" and may include items longer than those included here, particularly for poets, lyricists, and dramatists.
Harry Emerson Fosdick quotes:
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- A good sermon is an engineering operation by which a chasm is bridged so that the spiritual goods on one side - the 'unsearchable riches of Christ' - are actually transported into personal lives upon the other. permalink
- A person wrapped up in himself makes a small package. permalink
- Always take a job that is too big for you. permalink
- Bitterness imprisons life; love releases it. Bitterness paralyzes life; love empowers it. Bitterness sours life; love sweetens it. Bitterness sickens life; love heals it. Bitterness blinds life; love anoints its eyes. permalink
Riverside Sermons (1958)
- Christians are supposed not merely to endure change, nor even to profit by it, but to cause it. permalink
- Democracy is based upon the conviction that there are extraordinary possibilities in ordinary people. permalink
- Don't simply retire from something; have something to retire to. permalink
- Every human life involves an unfathomable mystery, for man is the riddle of the universe, and the riddle of man is his endowment with personal capacities. permalink
- Fear imprisons, faith liberates; fear paralyzes, faith empowers; fear disheartens, faith encourages; fear sickens, faith heals; fear makes useless, faith makes serviceable. permalink
- God has put within our lives meanings and possibilities that quite outrun the limits of mortality. permalink
- God is not a cosmic bell-boy for whom we can press a button to get things. permalink
As I See Religion (1932)
- Hating people is like burning down your house to get rid of a rat. permalink
"The Wages of Hate" in The American Magazine (May 1928)
- He who cannot rest, cannot work; he who cannot let go, cannot hold on; he who cannot find footing, cannot go forward. permalink
- He who chooses the beginning of a road chooses the place it leads to. It is the means that determine the end. permalink
- He who knows no hardships will know no hardihood. He who faces no calamity will need no courage. Mysterious though it is, the characteristics in human nature which we love best grow in a soil with a strong mixture of troubles. permalink
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