last week, Dr. Kenneth Howell will be releasing his second volume in the Early Christian Fathers Series on February 1. I was able to find some additional information for you to consider, including a video of a lecture he did back in 2009 entitled “The Issue of Authority in Early Christianity” which you can view here.
In addition, the fine website Called to Communion has an essay from Dr. Howell which is quite good. Below is the summary, although you can read the entire article here.
Summary: In this article I attempt to explain three
different frameworks for interpreting the Church Fathers (patristic literature)
and the consequences for adopting one over the others. I first describe each
framework in a general manner and then show by way of illustration how these
apply to the task of interpreting the Church Fathers. Secondly, I discuss some
key texts from the earliest patristic literature (Ignatius of Antioch,
Didache, Clement of Rome) that serve as tests cases for the three
frameworks. Finally, I argue for one of these frameworks as the most productive
and truest to Christian ideals. The themes presented here are treated in more
detail in two works: Ignatius of Antioch: A New Translation and Theological
Commentary and Clement of Rome and the Didache: A New Translation and
Theological Commentary, both of which are published by CHResources.