I remember reading an article by an Australian Anglican (episcopal) theologian saying, essentially, that the theologian should have, if not a preeminent place in the church, a place of superiority in the discussions, debates and directions of the church. The problem is that it sounds elitist, and the rejoinder to the claim by the bishop was that the church, with all its various divisions of labour, should be more like a symphony. This sounds right, but it does seem to me that the life and voice of the theologian is one that needs to be particularly nurtured and listened to in the church. We have always done this, although in these days of user-pay some smaller theological enterprises might come tumbling down to the detriment of the whole church. But why listen to the theologian? If the theologian's voice is not one of superiority, it is one that must be listened to. But why? I think this post from Ben Myers over at Faith and Theology is an excellent answer to the question.