As fallen beings with limited capacities, we carry around blind spots for nearly everything we do in life—including live out the gospel.
This is what Collin Hansen addresses in his new book, Blind Spots: Becoming a Courageous, Compassionate, and Commissioned Church.
In the book, Hansen seeks to lay a path for cultural engagement for a variety of Christians, separating them into three main camps, and identifying their strengths and weaknesses (or “blind spots”).
- The courageous truth-defenders (who typically love theology and defending the truth)
- The compassionate servants (who may be more recognized as the “social justice people”)
- The commissioned who do whatever it takes to win souls
Interactions between these three groups can often be both judgmental and discouraging. Instead of appreciating strengths and learning from them, we point the finger and stereotype based on their blind spots. All the while we often forget that, just like they, we have major blind spots as well. Hansen’s book both encouraged and challenged me in several ways:
First, it helped me be more welcoming to have my blind spots exposed.
Before reading the book, I thought I would major as a courageous and commissioned Christian, but show that compassion was a blind spot. And for the most part, that was true. What surprised me was when I realized I am not as commissioned as I thought I was—or would like to be. I don’t bend over backward to bring Jesus to people like the true commissioned do. But that is something I can work on and pray about. After having light shone into blind areas, I can now hopefully work toward more fully embedding each of the three categories as Christ did.
Second, it helped me be more thankful for Christians who don’t share my same blind spots.
Hansen provides a helpful analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of each group which helped me to not only see my own weaknesses, but also see and treasure the strengths of others. If I only read and hang around a bunch of Calvinist theology-lovers, I will likely perpetuate my own blind spots. That’s why I appreciate the many ways other people are impacting the world for Christ. The body of Christ needs diverse people with diverse gifts and strengths to minister the gospel the most effectively to a dying world.
Third, it helped me treasure Christ—the only One who is truly and fully compassionate, courageous, and commissioned.
How can you be fully compassionate, courageous, and commissioned? Not by aiming for it, Hansen says. “You achieve this biblical fullness when you aim for Jesus” (109). We aim for Jesus because He Himself perfectly embodied courage, compassion, and commissioned living. We are to follow Christ to courageously live our commission with compassion.
Even so, Christ was rejected, and we will be too. That’s one reason we can’t see Christianity as a rivalry between groups or a contest to win the most people. Whenever we can, we need to see those different than us as partners in serving and reaching a lost world for the sake of Christ. We also need to learn from those different than us and seek how we can sharpen each other to more faithfully engage the world with the gospel.
I’m thankful for Blind Spots and expect this short book to be helpful for pastors and faithful Christians. I’m hoping along with Collin Hansen that it will find it’s way into the hands of the courageous, compassionate, and commissioned to deepen their appreciation for Christ’s perfect work and strengthen their gospel witness in both faithfulness and fruit.
- Buy Blind Spots on Amazon
- Take the Blind Spots Quiz
- Listen to Collin Hansen’s workshop at The Gospel Coalition Conference (below)