People I Appreciate

Wendell Berry – a reflective American farmer, poet, activist, and follower of Jesus.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer – known best for his faithful and theologically honest resistance and eventual execution under Adolph Hitler’s regime, Bonhoeffer was also a youth pastor, theologian, writer, and planted an underground seminary during the late 1930s.

Bono – this guy probably doesn’t need much of an introduction. However, my personal draw to Bono is his beautiful music and honest faith.

Brene Brown – a gifted communicator who focuses her energy on research on humanity’s numerous frailties and incredible potential.

Richard Dawkins – though I’m not at all an atheist, I really appreciate Dawkins’ writings on evolutionary biology. I think it’s wise to listen to the voices of people who are profound in their area of expertise even though they are categorically antagonistic to my faith in God.

Kenda Creasy Dean – a reflective and genuine author focused in Christian ministry to and for youth.

Annie Dillard – a wise sage and author who spins powerful poems and pens many other profound works of art.

Jonathan Greer – a passionate and gifted professor and dedicated student of the soil, Jonathan also helped me foster a passion for the archaeology to which he has dedicated a great portion of his personal and professional resources. He has also been a personal friend and mentor.

Fred Harrell – a passionate Christian pastor and social activist. He happens to be our pastor.

Richard B. Hays – the prominent American scholar in biblical studies, Hays is also a committed pacifist. This is a big draw for me.

Ron Kopiko – a raw and un-frightened chaplain who pastored and mentored me during my college years.

Anne Lamott – an honest author and cultural presence whose gritty experiences in trusting Jesus with all things takes humanity and God seriously.

Sandra McCracken – a woman who sings honestly, soulfully, and beautifully about the journey of faith.

Alister McGrath – an incredibly capable scientist who doubles as a theologian. McGrath has extensive formal training in both science and religious studies. He converted to Christianity from staunch atheism in his late teens.

Eugene Peterson – a wise pastor and author I enjoy and respect greatly. He’s friends with Bono of U2, a band I [and pretty much everyone under the sun] loves. He and Bono share a love for the God-inspired poetry in the Bible’s Psalms.

Kara Powell – a delightful author and practical theologian focused on ministry to adolescents.

Richard Rohr – a gentle mystic with great insights on the spiritual life. He is also an inspiring voice on the intersections between the great faith traditions of the world.

Andrew Root – an newish yet delightful voice in the world of youth ministry.

Sufjan Stevens – a thoughtful musician I’ve enjoyed for a lot of years. He’s originally from Michigan.

Ben Witherington – an articulate and renowned scholar within the world of biblical studies, Witherington is also crafts poetry.

N.T. Wright – without a doubt one of the world’s leading theologians. Wright focuses in biblical studies, but his voice echoes within every corner of the public sphere.