I've always assumed that theologians who have spent time pastoring a local church are better equipped than those who have not. They're more practical. More down to earth. They are in touch with the "real" world.
In the past few months, however, my position has been changing. I'm currently of the belief that theologians do not need to pastor...I might even go so far as to say that theologians should not pastor.
I've heard it argued that theologians should spend time pastoring because it keeps her from staying in the "ivy tower" and forces her to present her findings in a way that connects with the common layperson...
I don't want my theologian to tell me what "works." I want my theologian to tell me what is true. I don't want my theologian concerned with what makes sense. I want my theologian to tell me what is right. I don't want the lure of what is "easily applicable" to outweigh truth.
Bashing on the theologian/pastor is certainly not my intention. I appreciate the sensitivity and wisdom that can be gleaned from time spent in the local church. But I want my theologian to speak of various doctrines in blunt honesty without being hampered by questions of rationality and relatablity.
Just gimme the theology straight.