The basic understanding I derive from Owen Barfield is that human consciousness changed with the advent of the Romantic era (building-up from the middle of the 18th century) - and that this movement was uncompleted since its impulse was either denied or corrupted.
The proper direction of Romanticism was towards a new 'synthesis' of traditional and modern (of spirituality and science) - but this did not happen.
One aspect of this failure has been that the insights and lessons of Romanticism have Not been included in the modern world - indeed they are alien and utterly excluded. This is obvious when we consider the paradigms of modernity: the bureaucracy and the mass media - there is no integration at all, and in practice only the materialist is considered decisive.
What I conclude is that for the modern sensibility, we must have a metaphysical basis for that which is primary. The failure to resist even the grossest insanities of modernity is because we lack a solid metaphysical base.
In theory, we could be ruled by 'common sense' - in practice common sense has zero traction in modern conditions - we need to have rock-solid metaphysical reasons for anything that matters.
This applies in religion too - including Christianity (e.g the major litmus test issues of male priesthood, and the status of homosexuality implied by same-sex marriage). The weakness of Christianity in the face of the sexual revolution is partly, essentially, due to weaknesses in the traditional metaphysical basis of Christin understanding of the sexes and sexuality. Such weaknesses are being brought to the surface, exposed, for the first time in history.
The only way forward is on the basis of metaphysics - what is conscious cannot be made unconscious; cannot because it is God's will (Man's destiny) that Man become more and more conscious - en route to becoming divine. This is an essential aspect of theosis under modern conditions.
What used to be done on the basis that it was prudent, expedient, natural, spontaneous... such things must now be done on the basis of fundamental metaphysical conviction - or they will not be done at all.
Fixing metaphysics requires a certain honesty - because it entails acknowledging that we know what is right, but cannot explain it metaphysically - and this means admitting that the traditional metaphysical accounts are inadequate. Traditional, mainstream Christianity does not have-all-the-answers, even after two thousand years, because the problems of modernity are novel.
(Purposive Evil has learned through history, and has found a new and highly effective way of attack - as described in Screwtape Proposes a Toast, by CS Lewis.)
If Christians won't admit this, then they will not be able to fix the problem.