A Biblical Examination of Empathy and Its Implications On the Ministry of God’s Word
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This thesis will argue that empathy is a disposition of love that willingly resonates with the experience of another image-bearer. This disposition is an activity that conveys God’s chief design purpose for human relationships, which is to know God and to make Him known. In the first chapter, this thesis will introduce empathy and the surrounding themes this thesis will examine. In the second chapter, this thesis will examine God’s purpose in relationships, as rooted in the imago Dei and place empathy within that larger purpose. In the third chapter, it will locate empathy within God’s command to be compassionate as God is compassionate (Luke 6:36), showing that empathy is a necessary implication of that command. In the final chapter, it will practically apply the framework within a biblical counseling methodology and to the heart of the counselor.