It is vastly more important, then, to know what the Reformation retained than what it overthrew; for the overthrow of error, though often an indispensable prerequisite to the establishment of truth, is not truth itself; it may clear the foundation, simply to substitute one error for another, perhaps a greater for a less.
The mightiest weapon which the Reformation employed against Rome was, not Rome’s errors, but Rome’s truths… There was no fear of truth, simply because Rome held it, and no disposition to embrace error, because it might be employed with advantage to Rome’s injury. While it established broadly and deeply the right of private judgment, it did not make that abuse of it which has since been so common. From the position, that the essential truths of the word of God are clear to any Christian mind that examines them properly, it did not leap to the conclusion, that a thousand generations or a thousand examiners were as likely, or more likely, to be wrong than one.
— Charles Porterfield Krauth, The Conservative Reformation and Its Theology (repr. St. Louis: Concordia, 2007), 202-203.