[quote="_DLM, post:16, topic:289660"]
Reformers relied upon the teaching the same way many RC's rely upon their teaching now...
For example: Many ECF's spoke of Sola Fide, below is a quote from Clement of Rome from another great Christian form at CARM.org
Clement of Rome (c. 30-100): “And we [Christians], too, being called by His will in Christ Jesus, are not justified by ourselves, nor by our own wisdom, or understanding, or godliness, or works which we have wrought in holiness of heart; but by that faith through which, from the beginning, Almighty God has justified all men; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.”[Clement Alexandria. Epistle to the Corinthians.]
Check out this site for more information: carm.org/intro-ecf
This doesn't show that the Reformers relied on the ECF's at all. (By the way, that is taking his words out of context...I recommend you actually read the REST of it...there are 2 of those, and neither will say "faith alone"...but arguing that is another topic for another day).
If they relied so heavily on Clement, then the Reformers would also have taught Clement's position on the Pope. Yet they rejected Papal Authority...so, no, they did not rely heavily, or at all, on the ECF's. In fact, as Eric Filmer points out, to do so would have undermined sola scriptura. Even the most tradition-friendly (if I may say this) of the Reformers taught that, while Tradition was of value, that it was subject to Scripture. So, at best, the Reformers might have used some of the Patristics as an afterthought that seemingly supported their case...a case which would have had to be based on the sole authority of Scripture. (Notice that Scripture actually says "...not by faith alone...". So I doubt they even relied on Scripture at all for sola fide, but rather it was a knee-jerk reaction to do away with the Sacrament of Penance which "solved" (in their minds) the abuse regarding the selling of indulgences.)
In addressing some abuses, the Reformers ALSO changed Christian Doctrine. So,
1- Either the Reformers “reformed” back to what Christianity had been from the beginning…in which case we should see some early Christian writings that support their doctrines…which is actually impossible in light of sola scriptura...and which can also be rejected in light of the fact that much of what the ECF's taught was rejected outright by the Reformers (Papacy, Visible Church, Christ's real presence under the appearance of bread and wine, the Sacraments, etc...)...
2- ...or they changed what Christianity had always been…in which case we should be able to see some proof of their authority to do this...