So, I have a confession. This wasn’t the book I was expecting to read. I thought it was about our blind spots to the challenges of the world; not our blind spots to our own failures and divisions as the church of Christ. Entirely my fault – the blurb is very clear. But what a blessing; this is an exceptional book and one I’m hugely glad I came across.
As Christians, we all like to believe that we have best understood the priorities of Father, Son and Holy Spirit, and are working them out as best as we can. However, all too often, we fall short in our attitudes to other Christians, and most clearly when they understand those priorities differently. Subtitled ‘Becoming a Courageous, Compassionate and Commissioned Church’, Collin Hansen’s book draws on his experience of many Christians roughly falling into one of these three camps, and all too swiftly dismissing those in the other two. Yet, as he unpacks, all three groups legitimately gain inspiration from the commands of Jesus, so we, as His people, must not allow our personal biases (or ‘blind spots’) to keep us from seeing the Kingdom calling in each other.
Do not be in doubt; Hansen is clear-eyed and firm about the shortcomings of each broad strand of the church. However, his concern is not about how we deal with those who twist or pervert the fundamental message of the gospel, but rather how we can, as a united but diverse Church, learn from each other’s passions to all love radically, stand firmly and spread the word widely. The book is relatable, searching and encouraging, and I highly recommend it. My one criticism is that many of the anecdotes are more Americanised than they really need to be, but I hope that readers from the UK will be able to see past them to the vital message beyond.
Miriam Montgomery, Free Church Books