The perversity of human nature shows up even in our strengths. If it is in my DNA to stand valiantly for truth, I will likely trample the unenlightened. If my heart bleeds for the underdog, I may provide for them a comfortable path to hell. If the world is my personal mission field, I may accomplish my goals by building a program of iron that even God himself would not choose to circumvent. In Blind Spots, Collin Hansen explores this tendency within the church, offering Christ as the plumb line, the point at which courage, compassion, and commission converge. The degree to which one deviates from His perfect unity is the degree to which one’s blind spots will hold sway. Could this be why those who believingly follow Jesus are viewed as oppressive or self-interested, when we set out to be ambassadors of peace?
Depending on whom you ask, the failing of the church is either a lack of courage, a failure of compassion, or a breakdown in our resolution to fulfill the Great Commission. Rather than addressing the issue as a multiple choice quiz and re-casting Jesus in our own image, Collin Hansen urges believers of all stripes to represent the heart, the head, AND the hands of Jesus in our efforts to be salt and light.As the graphic demonstrates, no matter what strengths I bring to the kingdom of God, the little red wagon that follows behind me will tote a load of offsetting weaknesses that can serve only to undermine my best attempts at relevant ministry. Even in Scripture, Paul the Commissioned ran roughshod over John Mark in his impatience to win the lost, while Peter the Compassionate Compromiser feasted on BLT’s with the Gentiles, but tried to hold the line on the Law when in the company of the Judaizers.
Having acknowledged our differences, we must embrace the opportunity they represent, resist the urge to divide, and chart a course that most nearly follows the way of Christ. Hanson probes with a question: “Can the love of Christ truly enable me to love a Christian who sins differently than I do?”
Blind Spots helps us to see that abiding in Christ is the best defense against division, for it is a way that expects opposition but “seeks unity among believers for the sake of the world,” a unity that weeps over the world’s brokenness, but then stops to pick up the pieces. Following the tradition of William Wilberforce whose war on slavery should foreshadow a battle plan against present-day sex-trafficking, we need “courage to raid a brothel in Bangkok and rescue the women, compassion to nurture them to physical health,” and a commissioned heart to “coordinate an awareness campaign and mobilize the public.”
It is the work of the kingdom that is at stake, and it is God’s glory that will be advanced when His church refuses to separate what God has joined together. Collin Hansen, in the business of raising a son, has set forth a hope that I share for my own four sons, and for my grandson: ” . . . that [they] might learn to love and trust the Lord Jesus Christ in a courageous, compassionate, and commissioned church.”
Amen. Let it be so.
For help in identifying your own blind spots, take the Blind Spots Quiz offered by Crossway!
This book was provided by Crossway in exchange for my honest review.
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