While secular discourse, in the form of statistical analyses, controlled experiments and rational decision-trees, can yield banks of data that can then be subdivided and refined in more ways than we can count, it cannot tell us what that data means or what to do with it. No matter how much information you pile up and how sophisticated are the analytical operations you perform, you will never get one millimeter closer to the moment when you can move from the piled-up information to some lesson or imperative it points to; for it doesn’t point anywhere; it just sits there, inert and empty.
He is arguing that discussions about weighty matters fall apart in a secular context. I couldn’t disagree more. Though I do think he’s onto something. Evidence, by itself, leads nowhere. It needs context and something else to give it meaning. I believe that “something else” that animates these discussions are our values. Further, I believe that this is the case whether our values are recognized or not and that it’s important for all parties to put their values on the table for examination and discussion.