[The message of the cross] declares that when Christ, by whom the world was made, enters the world, the world will not receive him...Human existence denies its own deepest and most essential nature. That is tragic. But when that fact is understood, when men cease to make the standards of a sinful existence the norms of life but accept its true norm, even though they fail to obey it, their very contribution opens the eyes of faith. This is Godly sorrow that worketh repentance. Out of this despair hope is born. The hope is simply this: that the contradictions of human existence, which man cannot surmount, are swallowed up in the life of God Himself. The God of Christian faith is not only creator but redeemer. He does not allow existence to end tragically. He snatched victory from defeat. He is Himself defeated in History but He is also victorious in that defeat.
- Reinhold Niebuhr, Beyond Tragedy.