Even though I'm re-reading Mere Christianity at the moment, I don't really like apologetics of any sort. At the end of the day, I remain a believer because I feel God in my life, not because of any brilliant argument I read.I am at a point in life where I feel stuck. I am unable to believe reason alone will lead me to faith, but relying on feelings seems subjective. I think it is plain that both feeling and reason are necessary, but to what extent? Anyways, I am just really confused about how I can even get faith anymore.
I do not believe these are the only two paths, reason and feelings. There is enough reasonable evidence in all the realms of human inquiry, from history to philosophy to cosmology, that could make anyone not feel squeamish about reaching out to God. But there is a host of things we must do in order for a real experience of God to take place. God does not meet us on our terms. We are not justified in rejecting Him merely because He doesn't meet our expectations or do what we please. Father Thomas Hopko touches on this, with these "10 Essential Conditions for Coming to Know God's Truth."
1. The belief that the truth of things can be known, and the desire to know the truth and to do it, wherever it leads, is most essential. Indeed it is everything. When people have this desire and seek truth in order to do it, and are ready to do it whatever it takes to find it, know it and do it, God promises that they will find, and understand and live. In a sense, this desire and seeking is all that is necessary.
2. The seeking person must read the New Testament through, slowly and without judgment of details, at least two or three times, taking the time needed to do this. They should let go of what is not clear, and focus on what they can understand, what is clear to them. It would also be helpful to read a Psalm or two everyday.
3. The person must pray, as they can. If they claim to be Christian, at least somehow, they should say the Lord’s Prayer, and other prayers of the Church tradition, and attend Liturgical services, without serving or singing or reading. If they are not Christians, or are unsure, they must at least pray, “to whom it may concern,” saying something like, “if you are there, teach me, lead me, guide me…”
4. The person must eat good foods in moderation. A couple of days a week (like Wed and Fri) the person should fast; eating much less than usual. During this search the person should abstain from all alcohol, tobacco and drugs. Except a minimal amount of wine with meals. If overeating or drinking, smoking or drug-taking is a problem, the seeker must get formal help, like, for example, a 12 step program.
5. The person should abstain from all sexual activity unless they are married and expressing love (and not just having sex). There should be no TV or Internet porn. If sex is an addictive problem, they must take steps to get formal help.
6. The person should sit alone and still in silence for at least a half hour each day. They should watch their thoughts, but not engage them. They should say a very short prayer while doing them, to avoid engaging their thoughts.
7. The person should give at least a couple of hours a week to charitable work, and should give away some of their money (if they can) in a sacrificial way. They should do this, as far as possible, without anyone knowing what they are doing.
8. The person should open their life fully to at least one other trustworthy person, telling absolutely everything, without editing or hiding anything: their thoughts, dreams, temptations, actions, sins, fears, anxieties, etc.
9. The person must regularly talk with someone trustworthy specifically about their family of origin: their family history going back as far as possible, their childhood, relations with their parents and grandparents and siblings, their spiritual and religious history, their sexual history, education, etc.
10. The person must find a community of friends with whom to struggle to know the truth and to find life. The search cannot be done alone. We need each other.