The church must be reminded that it is not the master or the servant of the state, but rather the conscience of the state. It must be the guide and the critic of the state, and never its tool. If the church does not recapture its prophetic zeal, it will become an irrelevant social club without moral or spiritual authority.

Never trust the artist. Trust the tale. The proper function of a critic is to save the tale from the artist who created it.

It is the heart that makes the critic, not the nose.

We should behave toward our country as women do toward men they love. A loving wife will do anything for her husband except stop criticizing and trying to improve him. We should cast the same affectionate but sharp glance at our country. We should love it, but also insist upon telling all its faults. The noisy empty "patriot" not the critic is the dangerous citizen.

A critic is a man who knows the way but can't drive the car.

He must summon his people to be with him – yet stand above, not squat beside them. He must question his own wisdom and judgment – but not too severely. He must hear the opinions and heed the powers of others – but not too abjectly. He must appease the doubts of his critic and assuage the hurts of the adversary – sometimes. He must ignore their views and achieve their defeat – sometimes… He must respect action – without becoming intoxicated with his own. He must have a sense of purpose inspiring him to magnify the trivial event to serve his distant aim – and to grasp the thorniest crisis as if it were the merest nettle. He must be pragmatic, calculating, and earthbound – and still know when to spurn the arithmetic of expediency for the act of brave imagination, the sublime gamble with no hope other than the boldness of his vision

Each man has a choice in life: He may approach it as a creator or critic, a love or hater, a giver or taker.

– Each man has a choice in life: he may approach it as a creator or a critic, a love or a hater, a giver or a taker.

Once it was the skeptic, the critic of the status quo, who had to make a great effort. Today the skeptic is the status quo. The one who must make the effort is the man who seeks to create a new moral order.

What is this self inside us, this silent observer, severe and speechless critic, who can terrorize us and urge us on to futile activity, and in the end, judge us still more severely for the errors into which his own reproaches drove us?

It is not the critic that counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbled, or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena; whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, and spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement; and who at the worst, if he fails, at last fails while daring greatly; so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory or defeat.

Half of the secular unrest and dismal, profane sadness of modern society comes from the vain ideas that every man is bound to be a critic for life.

A good deal of so-called atheism is itself, from my point of view, theologically significant. It is the working of God in history, and judgement upon the pious. An authentic prophet can be a radical critic of spurious piety, of sham spirituality.

Praise or blame has but a momentary effect on the man whose love of beauty in the abstract makes him a severe critic on his own works.

Time is the only critic without ambition.

A true critic ought to dwell upon excellencies rather than imperfections, to discover the concealed beauties of a writer, and communicate to the world such things as are worth their observation.

Perfectionism doesn't believe in practice shots. It doesn't believe in improvement. Perfectionism has never heard that anything worth doing is worth doing badly--and that if we allow ourselves to do something badly we might in time become quite good at it. Perfectionism measures our beginner's work against the finished work of masters. Perfectionism thrives on comparison and competition. It doesn't know how to say, "Good try," or "Job well done." The critic does not believe in creative glee--or any glee at all, for that matter. No, perfectionism is a serious matter.

A good drama critic is one who perceives what is happening in the theatre of his time. A great drama critic also perceives what is not happening.

I have far more confidence in the one man who works mentally and bodily at a matter than in the six who merely talk about it — and I therefore hope and am fully persuaded that you are working. Nature is our kindest friend and best critic in experimental science if we only allow her intimations to fall unbiassed on our minds. Nothing is so good as an experiment which, whilst it sets an error right, gives us (as a reward for our humility in being reproved) an absolute advancement in knowledge.

A critic is someone who enters the battlefield after the war is over and shoots the wounded.