Blind Spots: Becoming a Courageous, Compassionate, and Commissioned Church
Author(s): Collin Hansen
Publication Date: 2015
What if our differences became opportunities?
The world needs bold, united followers of Jesus. It needs you and me to understand and appreciate the contributions of our brothers and sisters in faith. However, too often, our blind spots lead to divisions and disagreements, preventing God’s people from testifying to his grace with one voice.
In this provocative book, Collin Hansen helps us view our differences as opportunities to more effectively engage a needy world with the love of Christ. Highlighting the diversity of thought, experience, and personality that God has given to his people, Blind Spotslays the foundation for a new generation of Christians eager to cultivate a courageous, compassionate, and commissioned church.
Part of the Cultural Renewal series.
Collin Hansen (MDiv, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School) serves as the editorial director for the Gospel Coalition. He previously worked as an associate editor for Christianity Today magazine and coedits the Cultural Renewal series with Tim Keller. He and his wife belong to Redeemer Community Church in Birmingham, Alabama, and he serves on the advisory board of Beeson Divinity School. You can follow him on Twitter at @collinhansen.
“I would recommend any book Collin Hansen writes because he’s one of the most thoughtful and devout men I know. But when it’s a book about what full-orbed and united ministry looks like in a post-Christian culture, I enthusiastically recommend it. The church has a big job in this era, and Hansen’s book helps us face into it with courage, compassion, and conviction.”
Mark Galli, Editor in Chief, Christianity Today
“Collin Hansen is one of the best younger writers and thinkers in the Lord’s church today. Here he calls on followers of Jesus to manifest three marks, each of which is essential for full-orbed discipleship: holy boldness, loving kindness, and a gospel witness that crosses all bounds.”
Timothy George, Founding Dean, Beeson Divinity School, Samford University; General Editor, Reformation Commentary on Scripture
“Courage to speak the truth, compassion to care for the broken and the oppressed, commissioned to evangelize and plant churches—but how often do all three of these commitments meld together, surfacing as unified Christian maturity in our churches? The simple thesis of this book is that eager submission to the Lord Jesus requires such a unified vision. To opt for only one of these commitments while dismissing those who opt for others is to turn aside from Scripture while flirting with sterility and ugliness.”
D. A. Carson, Research Professor of New Testament, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School; Cofounder, The Gospel Coalition
“This book is Collin at his best—with humility and wit, he examines our moment in history and asks, ‘What is wrong with the church?’ Collin’s answer: I am. From that vantage point we begin to understand the beautiful thing God is doing in our generation, encompassing the various gifts he has placed in different Christian traditions. Collin is confident enough in his convictions to write with clarity and authority, yet humble enough to learn from others. This book not only provides insight, it models how to learn from others.”
J. D. Greear, Pastor, The Summit Church, Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina; author, Not God Enough and Stop Asking Jesus Into Your Heart
“Collin Hansen provides a valuable framework to the evangelical community to assess our witness and examine our weaknesses in light of Christ’s strengths. This book provides timely, helpful, winsome and wise counsel for believers seeking to encourage others and effectively expand their witness to a watching world.”
Ed Stetzer, Billy Graham Distinguished Chair for Church, Mission, and Evangelism, Wheaton College
“This is a little book that goes to war against all of the right enemies: self-righteousness, pomposity, and anger misplaced. Let’s face it. We’ve heard enough of our ‘heroes’ thunder from the mountaintops. We’ve planted accusatory fingers into the chests of our fellow believers. We’ve lamented a culture in decline. The truth be told, we’re sick of our own Twitter and Facebook feeds. In response to all of these, Collin Hansen knows the source of the problem. It’s you. It’s me. And in the spirit of Carl F. H. Henry’s ‘sober optimism,’ he points us back to the compassion of Christ for a remedy.”
Gregory Alan Thornbury, President, The King’s College; author, Recovering Classic Evangelicalism
“Collin Hansen is a thoughtful, convictional, and wise leader. This book will help equip all of us to ask what we’re not seeing in the mission field around us, and in our own lives. You will find this book both convicting and rejuvenating at the same time.”
Russell D. Moore, President, The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission
“With this timely and challenging publication, Collin Hansen has provided churches with a scripturally based and balanced look at congregational life and ministry. Based on his discerning reflections and an open acknowledgment of his own imbalance and previous blind spots, Hansen offers us an invitation to join him on this important journey toward mature, healthy, and gospel-advancing congregational life. Carefully and thoughtfully written, the descriptors in the subtitle, ‘Courageous, Compassionate, and Commissioned,’ point us toward the need for collaborative service involving head, heart, hands, and feet. I am most pleased to recommend this important book.”
David S. Dockery, President, Trinity International University, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School
“Collin Hansen offers the multifaceted evangelical church an incisive, sympathetic approach to self-diagnosis. Here is a hopeful vision in which our differences are not ultimately obstacles but opportunities for greater unity in courage, compassion, and commissioning. My hope is that this brief book will win a broad hearing.”
Stephen T. Um, Senior Minister, Citylife Presbyterian Church, Boston, Massachusetts; coauthor, Why Cities Matter
“What I most appreciate about Collin Hansen’s Blind Spots is the call to be generous with one another. Hansen’s three paradigmatic Christian camps will be instantly recognizable to anyone familiar with church culture. But he reframes these differences as opportunities for mutual instruction and learning rather than divisions to be reinforced. The result is a work that is at once refreshing and edifying and that will hopefully contribute to a more holistic Christlikeness throughout the body of the church.”
Tyler Wigg-Stevenson, Chair, Global Task Force on Nuclear Weapons, World Evangelical Alliance; author, The World Is Not Ours to Save
“In this insightful and challenging book, Collin Hansen charts a path for principled Christian collaboration in the midst of our post-Christian culture. Comparing ourselves to Christ more than to others, we will humbly work with fellow Christians and their multitude of gifts to further the purposes of God’s kingdom.”
Thomas S. Kidd, distinguished professor of history, Baylor University; author, The Great Awakening: The Roots of Evangelical Christianity in Colonial America