One of the errors of Blessed Augustine was conclusion that man can grow closer to God through his reason, his intellect. Since not all of us have the same ability of learning, it would follow that those more intelligent / educated can come closer to God compared to those less intelligent / educated.
But of course you can, if such reason is not divorced from the practice of faith. St. Anselm called theology "faith seeking understanding."
I would also point out that intellectual activities are just one way of growing closer to God. There are many other ways---which is emphasized in a person's life depends on the gifts he is given. Look at the Franciscans and Dominicans---both mendicant orders, both formed around the same time, but with VERY different charisms.
Some of the greatest saints in the Church knew little of formal theology---St. Therese of Lisieux, one of the great mystics known for her "Little Way" approach to theosis, St. Catherine of Siena, another---both Doctors of the Church.
Then there are other Doctors who had a great theological education but who are most recognized for their mystical and spiritual works---think of St. John of the Cross and his Dark Night of the Soul
and The Spiritual Canticle
or St. Francis de Sales and his Introduction to the Devout Life
Even St. Thomas Aquinas, for all his cerebral egghead reputation in the East, was a mystic whose hymns are still sung today by Catholics the world over before the Blessed Sacrament. He wrote the liturgy for the Feast of Corpus Christi, celebrated by your Western-Rite Orthodox brethren.
If you want modern examples, consider St. Josemaria Escriva, founder of Opus Dei
, and his classic of lay spirituality, The Way
Our position is expressed by St. Maximos the Confessor - On Knowledge. Essentially, knowledge of God cannot grow through study, but through prayer. Prayer is the single activity that brings us closer to God. Therefore, it follows that those more intelligent / educated have no advantage compared to those less intelligent / educated.
We would agree but with the understanding that study, properly approached, is a form of prayer.
BTW, Pope St. Martin I, who was arrested together with St. Maximos for condemning Monotheletism and exonerated with him at the Third Council of Constantinople, had his feast day yesterday.
You have been warned about prostelyzing Roman Catholicism here on the Convert Forum before. This is an Orthodox Christian Convert forum. You have been warned not to mislead here at oc.net when you refer to the Roman Catholic Church as "the church" and this includes whole oc.net website about referring to the Roman Catholic Church as "the church"-- Please if you are talking about the Roman Catholic Church write "The Roman Catholic Church" and do not write simply "the church." Please refrain from these actions in the future on the Convert Forum and elsewhere on oc.net. -username! section moderator