My latest audiobook selection is John Calvin's Institutes of the Christian Religion. In the Prefatory Address to the King of France, Calvin lays out why the accusations against the Protestants are resoundingly false. High on his list of arguments is that the Reformers were not teaching anything novel lest the accusation of novelty be brought against Christ and the Scripture.
But also high on the list is a rebuttal to a Scriptural argument put forth in defense of the Fathers:
It is not without cause (remark our opponents) we are thus warned by Solomon, “Remove not the ancient landmarks which thy fathers have set” (Prov. 22:28). But the same rule applies not to the measuring of fields and the obedience of faith. The rule applicable to the latter is, “Forget also thine own people, and thy father’s house” (Ps. 45:10).
While Calvin goes on to demonstrate an impressive familiarity with the Fathers and their theology (including their contradictions), Calvin's principal argument is that in regards to the "obedience of faith" the rule of "ancient landmarks" is not to be observed. While traditions, creeds, and councils are incredibly valuable returning to the Scriptures cannot be the foundation of impiety.
In our dialogues and debates, what percentage of our attention is returned to the Scriptures and what percentage is spent arguing the verbiage and meaning of Fathers (whether old or new)? Do not many of these Fathers point us to Scripture and Christ instead of their own words which merely evince Scripture?