CIU Counseling Professors enter the national discussion: Is empathy sin?

CIU Counseling Professor Dr. Seth Scott
September 14, 2021

Columbia International University Counseling professors, Dr. Steve Johnson and Dr. Seth Scott have entered into a national discussion within Christian counseling on whether empathy is sin.

The debate has resurfaced this year after a 2019 “Man Rampant” podcast titled, “The Sin of Empathy” by pastors Doug Wilson and Joe Rigney who discussed empathy vs. sympathy and how those words relate to current cultural disagreements.  

In a video posted on YouTube, Johnson and Scott say they believe that empathy is not a sin, but a virtue that Jesus displayed.

While Scott admits that empathy is a modern term that didn’t exist in Bible times, he said Jesus exhibited sympathy, empathy and compassion.

“Jesus frequently shifted along that continuum from sympathy, empathy, to compassion, in a regular response,” Scott said.

Watch the video “Is Empathy Sin?” with CIU Professors Steve Johnson and Seth Scott on YouTube.

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