Finally, there is no absolute method of Christian doctrine. There have always been different paths in this work, and which path is taken is less important than how it is pursued. The main rule, that all Christian doctrine must be grounded on and lead to Scripture, must of course be enforced under all circumstances. To this may be added the first secondary rule: Good (i.e., right) Christian doctrine does not take place in a vacuum of solitary thinking; it chooses its place in the fellowship of the saints, in connection with the living, thinking, and knowing of the whole Christian church, not only in the present but also in the past. ... Christian doctrine does not will to be an original undertaking; it places itself in a line. This can be methodologically expressed by the fact that we follow the writings of the fathers. When we do that, we have to consider who we follow.
N.T. Wright, The Last Word:
We must constantly be aware of our responsibility to the Communion of Saints, without giving our honored predecessors the final say or making them an "alternative source," independent of scripture itself. When they speak with one voice, we should listen very carefully. They may be wrong. They sometimes are. But we ignore them at our peril. ... Every period, every key figure in the history of the church has left his, her or its mark on subsequent readings of scripture, and if we are unaware of this we are to that extent less able to understand why we "naturally" read the text in this or that way.