Being a new a New Testament scholar is sometimes like being a gynecologist. What I mean is, when you tell people who you don't know what it is you do, you sometimes get some strange responses. Usually there is an uncomfortable silence or they say something like "oh, I see. I knew someone who was a priest."
What is even more surprising, however, is the response and/or questions you get from people who you think would know better. I remember a friend from Bible College who, upon learning my plans for a Ph.D., said: "do you think all that really helps?" I think he meant "does it matter?"
Unfortunately, I also get this response from some students. They are in seminary and have been called to ministry. They got the "burning", but they don't necessarily want or think they need the "learning." They recognize they need the degree, or they won't be ordained, but they aren't interested in nor do they care about everything else. Somehow theology just is not important to them. What they don't realize is that theology matters.
One of my former students, Matthew Montonini, has posted on his blog New Testament Perspectives, a bit of his experience with seminary and why theology matters. He also posted a video that helps get to the crux of the issue. What we think about God matters and that is why theology matters.
So, for those who wonder why we study everything we do . . .