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Episode 472: The “Sin of Empathy” & Spotting Toxic Leaders with Jamin Goggin & Kyle Strobel


Former megachurch pastor, evangelical wunderkind, and author of “I Kissed Dating Goodbye,” Josh Harris, has since left his wife and renounced his faith. He’s now pitching himself as an expert guide for other ex-vangelicals. What does his story tell us about the evangelical subculture? Then, strange things are happening at John Piper’s church in Minneapolis where leaders are clashing over issues of race and abuse. And some pastors are resigning after being accused of “the sin of empathy.” Then, Jamin Goggin and Kyle Strobel return to discuss revisions to their 2017 book “The Way of the Dragon or the Way of the Lamb.” They stopped selling the book and revised it because one of the Christian leaders they celebrated as a “lamb” turned out to be a “dragon.” They’re now asking, why do we so often fail to spot toxic church leaders? Plus, scientists are making mini-brains from stem cells. But to their surprise, the brains have grown eyes. Leading Phil to ask, What could possibly go wrong?


News Segment


Updates from the crew (Jason’s cinnamon rolls and Christian’s film) [1:49]


Stem cell mini-brains with eyes [7:45]


Josh Harris [16:21]


“Bethlehem Baptist Leaders clash over ‘coddling’ and ‘cancel culture’” [33:20]


Interview with Jamin Goggin & Kyle Strobel


The Way of the Dragon or the Way of the Lamb (Revised and updated edition): https://www.thomasnelson.com/p/way-of-the-dragon/


Episode 238 (Prior conversation with Jamin Goggin and Kyle Strobel):


BONUS Patreon question: What do we do with the content and impact from toxic leaders?


Interview Start [1:00:39]


Why is there a new edition? [1:02:37]


Original story and role of book [1:06:35]


How they processed the news of Jean Vanier’s abusive behavior [1:10:43]


Discerning wolves from lambs - is there hope for progress? [1:16:17]


Ministering to people who have been deceived and hurt [1:24:04]






41 Comments


Julie Crawford
Julie Crawford
Sep 21, 2021

James Goggin (I believe it was him) referenced different types of prayers in the Psalms we can use as models for our own prayers, one was ”lament” and the other was…?

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Replying to

...MacDonalds Big Mac style

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Just dropping by to say that Henry Cloud did write the book on it. Boundaries in Dating I think. My parents read Harris' book and were like, this seems a bit extreme here read this instead for which I'm very grateful.

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Jason Larman
Jason Larman
Sep 20, 2021

Had the pastor at Bethlehem Baptist read his "dead authors" as Skye suggests, he might have contrasted the passion of pity with the action of pity as C.S. Lewis does in The Great Divorce rather than mangling the definitions of empathy/sympathy to fit his purpose.

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kacumen
kacumen
Sep 20, 2021
Replying to

Rigney only reads dead people (I'm exaggerating a bit). He's into classical education (studying dead ppl from western civilization). Rigney is actually responding to a newer, pop conceptualization of empathy that became popular with Brene Brown, who's alive.

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Julie Crawford
Julie Crawford
Sep 18, 2021

Small correction, but can we say Josh divorced his wife or “he and his wife divorced” instead of Josh left his wife? Maybe I’m over sensitive right now, but one sounds overly judgmental to me.

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Brendt Waters
Brendt Waters
Sep 19, 2021
Replying to

This all assumes that Josh was the instigator here (I'm not sure, as I'm not totally hip to the story): I think "left" is a stunningly accurate portrayal. Why would we soften the term to legal lingo ("Josh divorced his wife")? He vowed to always be with her, then acted against directly those vows.

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Michael Ando
Michael Ando
Sep 18, 2021

While I hold the orthodox view that the Bible is the inspired Word of God, I have to wonder what it means when serious people conclude the Bible supports something ridiculous like a "sin of empathy". Should we conclude their interpretation is simply wrong and move on? Sometimes it seems like the Bible can be interpreted to mean almost anything, which is definitely NOT an orthodox position, but sometimes what else are we to think?

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kacumen
kacumen
Sep 18, 2021
Replying to

I really don't think Rigney is saying anything ridiculous or sinful. Emphaty as defined and practiced by some in this culture is often sinful as it doesn't allow for differentiation or for truth. This kind of empathy wants complete acceptance and presence without reservations. That's not wise.

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