John Piper is a pastor and author who I have typically not enjoyed reading, nor am I on the same page with his (strong) Calvinism. I don't have an opinion on the justification debate between he, N.T. Wright and a host of others because I don't really understand the fuss (although some want to make this discussion sound as if it is THE only discussion that matters right now). Maybe I will understand it more after I read N.T. Wright's book Justification and then Piper's response.
But in any case, one of the practices that I've committed to is in continuing to read authors that I know going in will have a different perspective than I do. It seems to me that if you exclusively read those books or authors of which you already agree, you're not really learning or changing per se, but rather reinforcing what you already believe (which can be helpful in it's own right).
But then of course you've got to recognize that you will never agree 100% with anyone, or any book! If you do, something may in fact be wrong! There will always be nuances, ideas, or directions in which you will not head. But learning doesn't come through simply agreeing or disagreeing, but through understanding. In fact, when reading someone's differing perspective, ideally at the end, I would love to be able to explain their opinion and even make a compelling case for it, even if I don't believe it. If I can do that, I know that I understand where they are coming from.
All that to say, I've started reading "Don't Waste Your Life" by John Piper in the mornings (it's convenient that I can read it on my iPhone for free). Sure, I don't agree with Piper on many issues, but despite that, there are a plethora of things that I can learn from him and appreciate about his ministry. Here is one such nugget. Wish I would have had this quote back when we were in 1 Corinthians.
"Somehow there had been wakened in me a passion for the essence and the main point of life. The ethical question "whether something is permissible: faded in relation to the question, "what is the main thing, the essential thing?" The thought of building a life around minimal morality or minimal significance-a life defined by the question, "what is permissible?"-felt almost disgusting to me. I didn't want a minimal life. I didn't want to live on the outskirts of reality. I wanted to understand the main thing about life and pursue it."