But too often it has degenerated, under top-down intellectual leadership, into the demand for submission to an abstract scheme.
The most devout folk Christianity has always pushed against this, and personalized the abstractions: we could see ikons, special relationships with Saints, and the veneration of the Blessed Virgin Mary in this light.
The only thriving Christian denominations of today are those which emphasize the personal - for instance (but not exclusively) evangelical Protestants who (in practice) have a specifically Jesus and Gospels-focused, highly personal faith; and who reinforce this immediacy with pictures, drama, novels, songs, multiple and varied re-tellings and reconceptualizations of the Gospels, and narratives of their own personal relationships with Christ.
Intellectuals are drawn to the neatness and complex coherence of cool abstraction; and Christian leaders tend to be intellectuals (more or less); but Christianity is intended for everybody (including children and the simple) - and what everybody most needs (including intellectuals, whether they know it or not) is a warm and personal relationship with God - that is the only basis of Love, Trust and Hope in God.
Any complex abstraction potentially stands in the path of a loving, hence personal, relationship with God - of a kind open-to and understandable-by everyone - such abstractions should be analyzed with a skeptical eye.
The maxim for intellectual Christians ought to be:
Is your abstraction really necessary?