Christianity is about a genuine encounter with God. Belief in God without the experience of God is not possible for Christians.
You hem me in, behind and before.
– Psalm 139:5
This experience includes seasons of darkness and confusion.
In this experience we discover that we are deeply loved and cared for by God. We are begotten by God. We are God’s children.
The authenticity of this experience depends on a crisis within our self-image. Without this crisis – which is an ongoing crisis – we cannot arrive at our true selves, our most essential persona, stripped of the influences of ego and culture.
The authenticity of this experience also depends on our ability to see reality for what it is – including our religious life – and to not read into it cultural values or our narcissistic wants.
When all of this happens we can say yes to God, and no to ourselves, and not before.
There is nothing new in the Christian life. No new strategies are required to experience God or to make this reality relevant to culture.
You cannot be a Christian without the experience of God.