This is a thought-provoking article on being a history buff vs being a fully developed historian and whether or not buffs have anything worthwhile to contribute to well-established academic disciplines.
Some of the bloggers I follow are Princeton theological students. I read them mainly because I can. It's amazing to me that someone in a small rural parish can have access to theological studies being conducted in Princeton. I admire their brilliance and discipline and youth. That said, I also think it's a lot of counting how many angels can dance on the head of a pin - interesting but not essential to the day-to-day survival of the church.
Canon law is a much more compelling read. Every time a Bishop in the United States is denied due process under Canon law I practically have a heart attack. The job security yardstick used to be: Was a civil law broken? Was a canon law broken? Obedience to civil and Canon law was the life jacket. k
Most of us live life in the trenches. We crawl through the mud, get shelled, suffer post traumatic stress syndrome, see our comrades fall, maybe take a hill today, be ordered to retreat tomorrow and be sent back the next day to reclaim the same minor hill. An academic researcher can give a brilliant analysis, gain a Ph.D. and become the CNN expert commentator but to truly be the expert you have to get some field experience.
Theory is elegant and practice is a bloody mess. Education does not adequately prepare anyone for life - it does give one a much wider assortment of tools and a list of standardized best practices which will have their usefulness.