“Our failure in one respect”
Except that it is the most important respect. Without that respect anything we say we believe is pure Kant intellectualism and has no relation to day to day reality. We might as well believe in aliens.
If you read some of my articles, either here, or more consolidated at natureofthebeat.svbtle.com, I firmly believe that many of the ills facing the Church today are similar or even the same as those facing the arts. Those are stemming from this bifurcation of our humanity, that reason is separate from faith, intellect/emotion, rational/irrational, material/immaterial. From what I can tell, that pretty much was at least codified by Kant. Plato had his moments, but at least he believed a universe of universals actually existed.
The Church bought into this when we allowed ourselves to separate spiritual and secular. I’m not talking asceticism or gnosticism, although that is the lens the atheist is using, really. In discussion, you can say you aren’t Catholic, Charismatic, or Arminien. That doesn’t matter to the atheist. Any faith is irrational. No matter the rational argument you present, in their eyes, faith is solidly in the immaterial realm. This is not a rational debate, structurally speaking.
The fact that we can’t live as we say we believe is all the evidence they need. We’ve already given them the material to assess using the scientific method. Its an un-winable debate.
It is also unwinable because Christianity is not an intellectual ascent. You can’t come to Christ on a purely intellectual basis. To debate Christianity on an intellectual basis is cutting out half of who we are. You can’t scientific method your way to Christ.
Until that bifurcation is reconciled, either individually, culturally, or societally, any “debate” is hamstrung by Modern reductionism. There is a far more important underpinning that has to be addressed. From one perspective that can only be truly addressed byt the Holy Spirit. But our part is to address relationally, by living our faith, not debating it.
I do believe we should undertand our faith at least at a level we can cogently answer when asked. I don’t believe faith ever requires us to check our brains at the door, so to speak. However, the purpose of understanding is not about debate.