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Knowing God... vs knowing about God


         “Not many of us, I think, would ever naturally say that we
          have known God. The words imply a definiteness and
          matter-of-factness of experience to which most of us, if we
          are honest, have to admit that we are still strangers… Would
          it occur to us to say, without hesitation, and with reference
          to particular events in our personal history, that we have
          known God? I doubt it, for I suspect that with most of us
          experience of God has never become so vivid as that."

“We need frankly to face ourselves at this point. We are, perhaps, orthodox evangelicals [ie real Christians]. We can state the gospel clearly, and can smell unsound doctrine a mile away. If asked how one may know God, we can at once produce the right formula - that we come to know God through Jesus Christ the Lord, in virtue of his cross and mediation, on the basis of his word of promise, by the power of the Holy Spirit, via a personal exercise of faith. Yet the gaiety, goodness, and unfetteredness of spirit which are the marks of those who have known God are rare among us- rarer, perhaps, than they are in some other Christian circles where, by comparison, evangelical truth is less clearly and fully known…”
(J.I. Packer, Knowing God, p24-25)