John ‘Rabbi’ Ducan once famously made the statement that:
“I am first a Christian, next a catholic*, then a Calvinist, fourth a paedobaptist, and fifth a Presbyterian. I cannot reverse this order.”
Duncan, in this succinct statement, managed to convey a good amount of information not only about what he believed but also the priority and emphasis on which he placed on each section of his beliefs.
Even the briefest reading of any of the literature he wrote reveals a man who knew what he was talking about; someone who could ably and with deep conviction defend his position, but it’s always clear that he held deeply to the priority of his first two statements of belief.
He was first and foremost a Christian, and a catholic one at that (* small ‘c’ meaning quite simply ‘universal’ ).
He cared for the Church in both a local sense and in it’s a wider sphere, he served for many years the Christians in Hungary, and he is still remembered by them there.
He worked hard for his denomination, but he was in no way bound by it – he understood that he was part of the universal Church of Christ.
I agree totally with his points and the order, I would personally add one more in just before paedobaptist, and that for me is Exclusive Psalmody. The belief that in public worship the church should use the book of Psalms rather than uninspired material.
Over the next few
weeks months, I hope to go through these points and offer a personal, simple, and accessible line of reasoning as to why I hold to each position:
1- Why am I a Christian?
2- Why am I a catholic Christian?
3- Why do I hold to Exclusive Psalmody?
4- Why do I believe in baptising babies and adults?
5- Why do I hold to the Presbyterian Church system as the best biblical option?
I say with confidence that the first two points are my hills to die on, the rest are all hills I will fight on (with elements in each I will gladly walk around!)