By Fr. Panteleimon Krouskos
I notice that academic theology is consistently demonized and degraded with an almost sensual-like pleasure and with maxims. Of course not everyone who is educated theologically is illumined by God, but it also doesn't mean that every uneducated person who makes two or three patristic quotes on the internet is heavenly illumined and charged with a mission. Let's not get crazy!
The most important Fathers of the Church had both illumined and charismatic theology, but they also had a broad secular education. And indeed many of them in certain points considered such an education indispensable and essential. They had to contend against people who were versed in worldly wisdom and they refuted them in precisely this area. And many times our Fathers had a broader secular education than specialists and philosophers.
Education may not guarantee you a place in Paradise, but it is useful in pastoral matters and in the apologetic matters of the Church. If we observe properly, we will notice that the heretics and those in error first strike at morals and slander and they will look to first discredit the clergy then the educated. Why? Because they will be the first to understand their error and uncover it. Thus by devaluing the priesthood or theological education they attempt to dismantle them morally so the future reactions of clergy and theologians will be in vain and the heretics will have free rein to take on every reaction.
Therefore, let not certain Christians especially on the internet follow those in error who politick and are sarcastic. Everyone has their value, and if someone has one or two degrees then it is part of their conquest and pride, and they will not abandon them for false-obedience to a false god so easy. Education is a gift from God. Let us not fight it. Though it alone will not bring us to Paradise, it does have much to offer.
Although a degree may not give you education and culture, laborious and well-intentioned study, with an understanding of spiritual handiwork, will give you a lot and will open the horizons of your mind and soul.
Let God show us the Saint Anthony's and other elders who are illiterate by worldly standards and not fight for ourselves for the humble glory of the illiterate. We now have all the breadth and comfort to educate ourselves!
Source: Translated by John Sanidopoulos.