I'm sharing a couple of quotes I recently came across that struck a chord for me. It started with my growing awareness that something was awry during my time at Vanderbilt Divinity School back in the early to mid-90s. At the time, divinity students were required to take only one theology course entitled "Constructive Christian Theology." Instead of immersing us in the study of the influential predecessors, councils, creeds, confessions, and liturgies in the tradition, the emphasis was on each individual constructing his/her own theology, the fruit of which was to be shared in the final paper.
Since then, I've become increasingly aware of tendencies within the broader Church (and within the Episcopal Church in particular) to downplay the authority of scripture and tradition in favor of untethered reason and/or subjective experience. The door is wide open for cherry-picking what each individual likes from scripture and tradition, or simply ignoring those classical sources of authority altogether when they become inconvenient.
It reminds me of a quote attributed to St. Augustine: "If you believe what you like in the Gospels, and reject what you don't like, it is not the Gospels you believe but yourself."
The quotes below point us in a very different direction.
"A true and truly Christian theology will surely be deeply rooted in revelation and tradition, in worship and prayer in the Christian community, in compassion and service in the world, in fear and trembling before the wonder of the Christian gospel, and in humble dependence on the grace and agency of the Holy Spirit. Yet precisely these notes are the ones missing from the prevailing canons of theological discourse."
"Revelation, worship and tradition are the 'fundamental womb' in which theology is conceived, develops and flourishes. Yet ironically, too many seminaries have deserted these sources in a misguided attempt to communicate the gospel more effectively to their surrounding culture. As a sad result many seminary graduates feel compelled to construct their own theology out of whole cloth. [William J.] Abraham acerbically describes the ludicrous expectation on many seminary campuses 'that each theological student must, in the space of a semester or so and after a short period of study, develop his or her own creed and shortly thereafter be licensed to inflict this creed on the church at large.'"