A reformed evangelical apologist gave the following justification as to why evangelicals do not accept Catholic claims regarding church history:
"It’s important to note that Evangelicals hold a different view of church history than Roman Catholicism does. We don’t claim a succession of doctrine from the first apostles passed down orally from generation to generation. It would be more appropriate to see passages like 2 Kings 22:8-13 as representative of history, where God’s people are given a revelation to follow, and sometimes it’s possible for His people to completely fall away from that material, or, as in the case with 2 Kings 22:8-13, physically lose the law of God.
In other words, the type of succession Evangelicals hold to is doctrinal, not generational. The principles that Evangelicals hold to don’t need to be found in the early church fathers, but rather in the Scriptures. Since the early church never had to formally deal with the issue of, for example, justification in such a defined manner, it’s not unreasonable to see such a formal understanding being largely absent from the fathers."