One thing that I find quite positive about being a Protestant is that I can stand on Scripture alone. I stand upon the bedrock of the Bible, the written Word of God as the source of my theological understanding. The Bible is the penned version of God’s eternal Word. Humans neither created it nor compiled it. Men at the various ancient academies and councils, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, recognized it as the Word. This is a big difference between Catholics and Protestants (Michael Horton can further detail this here). The actions of these men were not infallible, no person is that way. Instead they were guided there.
While I certainly believe in the wisdom of the Historic Church; however, I cannot base my own theology solely upon them. I can supplement my faith with them, but my faith will not be founded on it. At the end of the day, Athanasius, Augustine and Aquinas are human beings, prone to err. As shocking as it may sound to come from my keyboard, even Luther and Calvin made mistakes! In the Word of God alone will I place my trust and theological foundations. If I make a mistake it is because of my own thinking, not because of God’s Word.