“Eat the meat, spit out the bones!” Hercules Collins (paraphrase)

In 1680, Hercules Collins penned his first work, an adaption of the Heidelberg Catechism, which he titled An Orthodox Catechism. In his preface, Collins defended his inclusion of three creeds from the early church: the Apostles, Nicene and Athanasian. His defense includes great advice on how a Christian should read works by those with whom they may have disagreements. He essentially says to chew the meat and spit out the bones. Great advice for us all.

I have proposed three Creeds to your consideration, which ought throughly to be believed and embraced by all those that would be accounted Christians, viz. The Nicene Creed, Athanasius his Creed, and the Creed commonly called the Apostles; The last of which contains the sum of the Gospels; which is industriously opened and explained; and I beseech you do not slight it because of its Form, nor Antiquity, nor because supposed to be composed by Men; neither because some that hold it, maintain some Errors, or whose Conversation may not be correspondent to such fundamental Principles of Salvation; but take this for a perpetual Rule, That whatever is good in any, owned by any, whatever Error or Vice it may be mixed withal, the Good must not be rejected for the Error or Vice sake, but owned; commended, and accepted.[1]

[1] Collins, An Orthodox Catechism, The Preface.

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