People who know me well know that I spend much of my life working on one question, viz. can we know the world, and still love the world? Or to put it in other words, the responsibility of knowledge, the relationship of knowing to doing. And for me, vocation is at the very heart of the answer.

David Brooks takes this up in his column today, exploring the meaning of empathy. Reading him, and the responses to his words, is very instructive. It is apparent that he is asking a hard question, one that goes to the depths of everyone’s heart. Overwhelmingly the responses politicize his question, making it a left/right issue worthy of greater polarization.

The Hebrew vision has shaped me. To have knowledge of means to have responsibility to means to have care for. So if we know, we care; and if we don’t care, we don’t know. The difficulty of making that coherent seems a problem for all of us, however we vote.

The Professor of Marketplace Theology and Leadership at Regent College and Director of Regent’s Master of Arts in Leadership, Theology, and Society program, Steven is the founder of The Washington Institute for Faith, Vocation, and Culture in Washington, D.C.

Meet Dr. Steven Garber