During his catechesis in front of the General Audience in St. Peter's Square on October 21, 2009, the pope emphasized that theology without faith is a vain intellectual exercise. In quoting St. Bernard of Clairveaux, a master theologian, he emphasized that our faith needs to be nourished by prayer and contemplation and that God can be sought easier through prayer than through discussion.
I have personally known people who, though they have no formal theological training, possess an intimate knowledge of God because of their devout faith, ferverent prayer life and personal relationship with His son. It appears, anecdotally at least, that it takes more than just book study and heady discussion to really know God. In fact, I would ascertain that intimate union with Him is impossible without faith and prayer. Knowledge, quite simply, is not enough.
As Pope Benedict XVI related, "Faith is above all an individual and intimate encounter with Jesus; it means experiencing His closeness, His friendship and His love."