So if you set St Ireneus against St Paul the Apostle, you would go with St Ireneus?
I see the point you are trying to make, but I don’t go along with it. While the words “free will” do not exist in Scripture, the concept does. In this case St. Irenaeus makes a powerful arguement for free will that is rooted in the teachings of the Prophets and Apostles. Those who reject tradition would cast all the great things written by Ireneus, Justin Martyr, Clement, Augustine, etc aside.
That is a hypothetical of the kind “so if Kansas seceded from the United States and joined the Philippines, you would go live in the Philippines?”
Of course, if something in the writings of a father of the Church disagrees with the writings especially of the Apostles or with the writings representative of the patristic consensus, I would go with the patristic consensus. But even that judgement I will make ini consultation with the living Church today, and not on my own. For example, Origen held some opinions that were heretical, the heresy being universalism. That is a known fact that Origen’s soteriology was in error; I can consult the Church councils or some reference material and find out that Origen is not an authority in that particular area. I made this exception in my post you are responding to.
Accepting Tradition doesn’t mean casting aside the Scripture; nor rejecting the Tradition doesn’t necessarily mean casting aside Irenaeus et al., as you pointed out. (There is, however, no shortage of Protestants that do explicitly reject the Fathers as ANY authority, so you are not speaking of all Protestants). Rejecting the Tradition means making your judgement of what Christianity should be as good or better than the judgement of the patristic consensus. That is a profound error of self-aggrandizing, that lead the Protestants, all their sects in different measure, to rejection not only the patristic teaching but the scripture itself. For example, the very concept of the Scripture being the sole rule of faith is contrary to the scripture. The notion that salvation comes about at the point of the individual accepting Christ as Lord ans Savior and is regardless of any works the individual does or does nto do (sola fide) is another perversion of the scripture.
It is also an error of logic. Christianity is a historical religion formed by events that occurred in a historical context. The question is not philosophical, “what do I think of God, sin, salvation, and the afterlife now that I have read the scripture?”. It is “what did the Primitive Church learn directly from Christ on God, sin, salvation, and the afterlife?” Anyone who bases his sect on the former is not methodologically an authentic Christian.