In the Preface to Blind Spots: Becoming a Courageous, Compassionate, and Commissioned Church, Tim Keller points out the breadth of understanding which Jonathan Edwards held in comparison to other giants of the faith such as Luther, Calvin, Aquinas, and Augustine. He also is right to point out that others who took pieces away from Edwards only too portions of his thinking which led to deficiencies in the areas they had left behind. This is an unfortunate result even among the body of God today, hence the need for a volume like this.
Collin Hansen has challenged the status quo of church life and has provided for us a way to shake off the dust of complacency. He has weaved a grand story of the body of God which is inclusive of all the pieces instead of separating those with theological learning from those with a heart for the poor. He holds them together and urges that we need each other if we are to make headway on our journey towards the celestial city of God.
At first glance, Hansen breaks down the people of God into three groups. The compassionate Christians are those with a heart for the poor and destitute. They are the boots on the ground type of Christian. He follows with the courageous Christian who are not on the streets with the poor but in the back alleys fighting for the very propagation of the gospel. They are the fearless ones who in their boldness neglect the lower and fight toward the higher things in the Christian life. He ends by giving us a portrait of the commissioned. Those whose names will never be known to many. Those who are taking the message to the very ends of the earth.
When looking at it from afar, it seems that all three are necessary, and with little thinking you can come up with people in your own life who fit these three compartments. The rub comes when these three are separated and think their way is best. It’s almost like the left hand doesn’t know what the right hand is doing and the legs are off doing their own thing. What kind of Church unity does that foster?
We need those people in the street who are on skid row sharing a curb with the poor. We need those courageous followers who are attacking the ideas of a false gospel with tenacity. We are called to be followers who are sent to the very ends of the world in order to see the glory of God fall on deaf ears. The question is, “how do we take three strands and make them one rope?”
The answer to that most important question is, Christ. In Christ we are united to one another through an in-grafting. We who were once far off have been brought near. We have been made into one new man, one fortress for the glory of God. We all, with our separate talents and abilities, are called into one body, under one federal head.
If Blind Spots does not stir in you a passion for the glory of God in all things then it may be time to rekindle the dying embers. It’s about time the Church became a courageous, compassionate, and commissioned Church. Thank you Collin Hansen for providing the medium through which we may begin to rebuild the Church into a glorious picture of the gospel among all peoples and nations.
Hansen, Collin. Blind Spots: Becoming a Courageous, Compassionate, and Commissioned Church. Wheaton: Crossway, 2015. 128. Print.