I have been finding that it is much easier at time to keep companies with those who think like me. Those who read the same books, think the same thoughts, like the same things. This is especially tempting when it comes to areas such as theology. And who doesn’t like to hang out with those who have similar views, and there is nothing wrong with that. But sometimes I wonder if I do not allow myself to listen to the voices of others, their thoughts, opinions, etc. Why? Because they do not run or hang in the “same camp” that I occupy. But it seems to me that the blogosphere provides a great opportunity to listen, read, and hear other voices. Some may see this opportunity as a bad thing, and one that will lead undiscerning people astray, but I see it as a good thing, and I think we should give more credit to people than we sometimes do.

So today, I just want to give you a sample for the weekend, some other voices. Those that I disagree with. Those that challenge me. Those that think like me, etc.

The voices that I tend to hardly agree with, but whom I find myself visiting their sites to see what they have to say. And though we rarely, if ever, see eye to eye theologically, I respect and admire their passion and zeal for Jesus Christ.

Colossians Three Sixteen: This is a college buddy whom I know well. We hardly see eye to eye, and even in one of his latest posts he argues against two people that I love to read (Donald Miller and Rob Bell). Brent is thorough and passionate. And definitely Reformed.

PyroManiac: I love going to Phil’s site because I’m just never sure what I am going to find. I usually find myself disagreeing, but Phil pretty much covers every topic you might expect, and that you wouldn’t expect. And he’s one of the best when it comes to design, look and graphics. Different theological views than mine, but a tireless blogger.

James White: He is a former college professor of mine, whom I took church history from. He probably does not know this, but it is while taking his class my senior year in 1997, that I decided to then enter seminary. He is an apologist, and writes a lot on Mormonism and Calvinism.

Hmmmm. Why do I tend to usually not agree with the Calvinists?

The voices that I am usually most challenged by, and who help me think outside the box, by posing tough questions, and helping me think critically about things that I usually don’t think about.

Willzhead: Will is one of those bloggers whom I love to read because he brings up perspectives that are usually foreign to my context in ministry, training, or in life in general. I am most challenged by his political and economic views that he writes about and proposes, but I am also very challenged as I struggle to understand God’s word from a context I had little interaction with. Thanks Will.

Ryan Bolger: Though I have many similar interests as Ryan, I am very challenged by his understanding of God’s Word in light of his worldview that he teaches, talks about and lives out. I am also challenged with the ways he has begun to take his teaching, and seminary classes on line in the form of student and class blogs.

Awakening: Mike is someone who challenges me as a fellow pastor/director in church ministry. He has challenged me to think outside of the box, in how one is and does Church, and how community is formed. Most recently I have been challenged by his delvings into Jewish literature and thought, as well as his reflections on particular Biblical texts such as Judges.

The voices that are relatively new to me. New friends whom I am admiring as people, and as bloggers.

Foolish Blog: Different theological community, but someone (Scott) whom I met at GodBlogCon and whom I’ve had subsequent conversations with.

Mere Orthodoxy: Matthew Anderson is someone who is a new friend, whom I also met, and who actually coordinated GodBlogCon. I am looking forward to great things from him.

In the Agora: Joshua Claybourn blogs about things that I tend to not usually blog about, mainly politics. I enjoyed his workshop at GodBlogCon, and I am enjoying reading his blog.

The voice that seems to be everywhere. If it’s politics, or technology, or theology, or music, or art, etc. This is the guy who I love to read, and who is challenging and encouraging on many fronts.

Tall Skinny Kiwi: Andrew Jones. No further words necessary.