If I may offer my perspective.
I was like you once. I also saw in Christianity an endeavor to refute atheism (and anything associated with it) and other religions. I find it intellectually stimulating, but spiritually debilitating, as I concentrated less and less on my spiritual life and neglecting also the alms and services for others, which matter most.
What was the highest measure by which Christ would judge you? He says so here:
34 Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.
44 Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42 For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.
EVEN WORSE, Christ even said not all those who prophesied in His name (for defending the faith and refutations can be considered a form of prophecy) will enter the Kingdom of heaven:
21 Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ 23 Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’
Do really seek to be a "theologian" in the strictest sense, to seek to "know God" as theology really is? Then know God through praying to Him, by increasing in your spirituality, and by helping those who have no help, where God is said to be present, among the poor of the people, the widows, the orphans, the travelers, the strangers, the sick, the desperate, the depressed, the distressed. These are the people that need God the most. Atheists who engage in intellectual discussions are at an arrogant stage of their lives, who desire no help from anyone, but just a good coffee conversation. There's nothing wrong with that, but there's everything wrong with concentrating on that at the expense of serving your spiritual needs and the needs of others around you. Indeed, it could be even worse. Atheists achieve great joy seeing the arrogance present in them be magnified in you, and seeing that you preach what you don't even practice in the manner to which you debate them. Your arguments become a victory to them, and a victory for the demons.
At this stage, just concentrate on your own personal spiritual life and almsgiving. Only then do you know the real value of truly proving God's existence and presence to others, not by your arguments, your prophecies, your miracles, or your exorcisms, but by your love to God with all your heart, soul, mind, and spirit, and loving your neighbor as yourself.
And sacrifice the feeling that you need to defend God or the faith. God and the Church needs no defense from us worthless people. We do our defense better by doing the will of God as defined above, not by arguing about God. Achieve these first, and when the opportunity comes, when someone wishes to know and question the faith and hope that is in you, then you should be ready to defend it, but do not be the one who initiates the discussion. It must come from others after they see the beauty and change that is in your heart and in the way you deal with others.
And that is when you are ready to also learn about Orthodoxy.