Read Romans 11:33-36
33 Oh,how great are God’s riches and wisdom and knowledge! How impossible it is for us to understand his decisions and his ways!
34 For who can know the LORD’s thoughts?
Who knows enough to give him advice?
35 And who has given him so much
that he needs to pay it back?
36 For everything comes from him and exists by his power and is intended for his glory. All glory to him forever! Amen. (NLT)
What is remarkable about this passage is not just its content,but where it comes in Paul’s writing to the Romans. He has just finished a lengthy consideration of complex theological issues encompassing the role of Israel,predestination,righteousness,the law. And he finishes it off by this declaration of praise. His deep reflections have not caused him to throw up his hands in confusion,but lift his hands in praise.
It is a reminder to us that we dare not fall into the trap of making Christianity a mere battleground of conflicting ideas,a set of propositional beliefs that have to be perfectly comprehended,or a playground for our own religious speculation. All good theology should lead to praise.
And lead to passion. It is sad if we get to the point where our faith becomes routine,where what we believe in our heads fails to stir up our hearts. It is so easy to live out a sort of passionless Christianity. The shell of orthodoxy is still there but the substance and the fire and the emotion has gone.
It may be a helpful thing for us to pray daily for passion which leads to praise. We can’t manufacture it out of our own resources. It has to come from the life-giving Spirit of God who alone converts our thoughtful theology to passionate praise.