This question is for all you serious, well informed Protestant members of these forums, and is not a lead-in to a sola-scriptura debate or bible vs. tradition rant. I am particularly interested in the answers of those of you who are seminary trained in the doctrines of your religion. When interpreting scripture, or researching practices of the early Church, or determining the validity of a doctrine, do you place any weight on the writings of the Fathers of the Church? Since most of us profess the Nicene Creed which was settled during the deliberations of early Church councils, I assume that most Protestant confessions or creeds accept the actions of those councils as valid. Is there a cut-off date, or are some Fathers accepted by Catholics considered unreliable by Protestant scholars? Thank you very much and I look forward to reading the replies.
If possible, could responders please note your denomination, and if you feel it is relevant, where you received your education? I ask because I realize “Protestant” is an elastic an imprecise term we Catholics use to mean “non-Catholic” and and don’t want to jump to conclusions about any denomination or sect, or use your answers to make generalizations about “what Protestants believe.”