And I’ll go a step further.
We have to have constant engagement between content and method. As Christopher reminds, at the end of the day it’s method that makes one patristic, not simply parrotting patristic content.
How about Scripture?
I will argue that Scripture is a different case as we recognize it to be of a higher order than the patristic writings. It is a more direct channel of God’s self-revelation. And yet Scripture points us continually beyond itself to God and the person of Jesus Christ the Word Made Flesh.
Content matters. Interpreting the content is a matter of method, however.
And watching Paul play with the Old Testament in passages like Gal 2 or Romans 4—or looking at the entire Book of Hebrews—we see them making unusual (even shocking) moves in light of the revelation of the reality of the Word Made Flesh.
That’s what keeps us Scriptural. Not just knowing the content but following the method to utilize the dead letter to assist us in encountering the Living Christ.