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Credo Hardcover – January 1, 2004


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Westminster John Knox Press; 1 edition (January 1, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0664227074
  • ISBN-13: 978-0664227074
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 6.1 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,119,375 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

This collection of inspiring credos by William Sloane Coffin melds Christian spirit with social justice. Coffin's credentials are impressive--he served as chaplain of Yale University and Williams College, and he is the inspiration for the character Rev. Sloan in the Doonesbury comic strip. He is also a lifelong social crusader and peace activist. In James Carroll's exquisite introduction he recalls a night in 1972 when he and Coffin and numerous other ministers were thrown in jail for trespassing at the U.S. Capitol (while protesting the war in Vietnam). It was Coffin's baritone voice that broke the jailhouse silence, singing out Handel's "Messiah" and comforting the frightened men of the cloth. In fact, Coffin, author of The Heart is a Little to the Left has never been afraid to speak or sing out his beliefs. "I like to believe that I am an American patriot who loves his country enough to address her flaws," he states in the preface. "Today these are many, and all preachers worth their salt need fearlessly to insist that 'God 'n' Country' is not one word."

Editor Stephanie Egnotovich reviewed a lifetime of Coffin's sermons and unpublished speeches and then excerpted and organized them into categories. His words and her editing created a book that is full of quotables. For example:

On Social Justice and Economic Rights: "In the United States grim poverty is a tragedy that great wealth makes a sin."

On Social Justice and Civil Liberties: "Prejudice disfigures the observer, not the person observed. If only the latter could remember it."

On Patriotism: "All nations make decisions based on self-interest and then defend them in the name of morality."

On War and Peace: "We are beginning to resemble extinct dinosaurs who suffered from too much armor and too little brain."

For the leftist leaning Christian, this is the book you'll want to take on your next spiritual retreat, political protest, or any situation where left-leaning Christians gather to create social change. And when it's not being carted around in a satchel, it deserves a permanent residence on your lifelong spiritual contemplations bookshelf. --Gail Hudson

Review

"....Coffin's voice roars like a whirlwind, calling us to face our God and our human brothers and sisters." -- The Bloomsbury Review, March/April 2004

"Coffin has both enraptured and challenged the nation.The passionate music of his ministry soars from these pages." -- Garry Trudeau, internationally syndicated cartoonist, creator of Doonesbury

"The voice of a prophet and wisdom for the ages." -- Bill Moyers

"Those who encounter this magnificent Credo will quickly realize it is a work of love of the highest order." --Circuit Rider, July/August 2004

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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

67 of 72 people found the following review helpful By Collin M. Hinds on March 16, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Bill Moyers was absolutely correct in stating with regard to William Sloane Coffin: "The voice of a prophet and wisdom for the ages". If anything, reading Credo has inspired me to want to be a better human being and stand up for those things I know point to a higher purpose. Credo is a compilation of memorable excerpts from, I believe, sermons delivered by Mr. Coffin. Whether you are a Christian or a secular humanist, there is something here to inspire you to a higher standard of global ethics. Most importantly, Credo delivers a message that Love is supreme and without it we are doomed. If all of us thought like Mr. Coffin what a wonderful world it would be.
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48 of 51 people found the following review helpful By a reader on December 27, 2004
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I am a Lutheran Church librarian who bought this book for our church library. The beauty of this book is that the reader can turn to any chapter or page and just begin reading. Many of my parishioners are not big readers and only have high school educations, so this book is more attractive to them than a tome with chapter after chapter of dry theology. This book stresses how to turn faith into activism to change the world for the better. It is inspirational and thought-provoking.

Coffin is no light-weight as one hysterical right-wing reviewer suggests. He has been Yale University's chaplain, minister of Riverside church in Manhattan, and is now working for nuclear disarmament. I believe he was also active in the civil rights movement if I remember correctly. Yes, he is liberal and thank God for that! Once CAN be religious and liberal at the same time! The two go hand in hand. It is refreshing to hear a minister, a person of faith, INDICT us to truly love our neighbor even if we perceive him to be "different" from us; to remember the poor and work to help them; to protest when our nation goes in the wrong direction. This is an excellent book for those who are sick and tired of George Bush's brand of "compassionate conservatism" in which he tries to relegate gays to second-class citizenship, believes that wholesale murder of innocent Iraqis will lead to a democratic peace in that nation, and who puts our nation in jeopardy through corrupt and wasteful stewardship of our national finances and the environment, etc. There is a lot here to think about and work toward.
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49 of 53 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 29, 2004
Format: Hardcover
This is one of those books that you never want to be without. When life gets the best of you, you want to grab it and read Coffin's words of wisdom. His clarity of life and focus is so refreshing and inspiring. He truly is an american hero who has impacted my life by just learning about his book and enjoying every word. He is a remarkable man who put justice and humanity above everything else. James Carroll's foreword is like chocolate, it just melts in my mind and makes me want more.
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33 of 36 people found the following review helpful By Michael Grello on January 5, 2006
Format: Hardcover
William Sloane Coffin is the real deal. He calls for social justice, not despite religious faith, but due to it. His message is rare because it has become fresher and more relvant as time goes on. He is warm, witty and insigtful and this is a good omnibus of his lifes thoughts. "Letters to a Young Doubter" is another fine book. And to those that accuse him of relativism; that is precisely false. He absolutely and with conviction speaks truth to power and represents the Lord with integrity.
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53 of 65 people found the following review helpful By Fred W Hood on June 15, 2004
Format: Hardcover
I noted that no reviews gave credit to the origin of these words as collected by Editor Stephanie Egnotovich and Publisher Davis Perkins of John Knox Press. When I began to meditate upon this neat outline, quotations, and thots, I was convinced it is a book I cannot be without! Emphasis upon Dr. Coffin's outline of Faith, Hope/Love; Social Justice; Patriotism, War/Peace; Plus Nature, All take me back to hear him one week of Montreat Music & Worship Conference. His preaching was complimented by his day by day-living. Mostly because I sat beside him in Bass Section of Prof Elaine Brown's fabulous Choir.

Not only did he sing with great richness of tone but also in his profound statements. My memory will hold his deeply rich voice alongside his quotations of Walter Brueggemann: "Justice is to sort out what belongs to whom and return it to them!"

Another quotation of Parker Palmer: "Relationships-not facts and reason-are the key to reality." Huston Smith: "The larger the island of knowledge--The greater the shoreline of wonder!" More than sufficient to see & hear him as the master of metaphor in writing, preaching, and conversation! Amen for this wondrously inspired collection from Bill Coffin's Wisdom treaure-chest!
Retired Chap Fred W Hood
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26 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Midwest Book Review on April 13, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Credo is an inspirational treasury of thoughts, musings, hard-learned lessons, and much more from William Sloane Coffin, whose remarkable activist life has included service as chaplain of Yale University and Williams College, publicly opposing the Vietnam war, being jailed as a civil rights "Freedom Rider", and earning the immortal caricature of Rev. Sloan in the Doonesbury comic strip. His uplifting wisdom in matters both spiritual and mundane is presented in bite-sized pieces, each pondering deftly wrought and worthy of extended contemplation. "A central message of Christian life is this: ask Jesus for but a thimbleful of help and you get an oceanful in return."
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