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Here is a comment that reflects very well the historic Evangelical view of the Church Fathers. It is offered by Martin Chemnitz, an extremely important second-generation Lutheran theologian, whose definitive analysis of, and response to, the theology of the Council of Trent remains unsurpassed.

“The opinion of these fathers is that a thing should not be believed or accepted because someone of the fathers either thought or said so, unless he proves what he says from the canonical Scriptures, that the fathers could have thought differently from what truth demands, and that we have been called by the Lord to that liberty that we may freely judge about the writings of any and all persons according to the canonical writings, and that when we disapprove of anything in the writings of the fathers which does not agree with the Scripture and reject it, this is done without rashness but by a just judgment, without injury or disgrace to the fathers, without prejudice to their honor, and with their consent, and this is done by those also who are incomparably inferior to the fathers.”

Martin Chemnitz, Examination of the Council of Trent, I:261

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