I think it is good for us to be exposed - or to expose ourselves - to ideas different from our own. Those of us who are atheists living in religious areas may feel like we get more than enough of this from religious believers; however, there is great diversity within the atheist community itself. It can be helpful to explore that, as we are probably more likely to learn something of value from people who are not mirror images of ourselves.
Chris certainly has his critics in the atheist community. For examples, see this post by Chris Hallquist (the uncredible HALLQ) or this one by JT Eberhard (What Would JT Do?). The idea that atheists should participate in interfaith work is itself rather controversial. Some see it as a way to advance work on common goals; others view it as little more than a way to enable religion to continue its destructive ways (see Big Question 1: Anti-Theism vs. Secularism for more on that).
I believe that one of the highest compliments a blogger can receive is that his or her work is often thought-provoking. Sure, it is nice to hear that someone agrees with something we've written, but I'd much rather hear that something I wrote has stimulated some thought. And while Chris and I do seem to have rather different views of atheism and how atheists should think about religion, his writing often makes me think. That's why I keep reading.
Here are a few posts in which I have referenced Chris Stedman's work:
- Should Atheists Seek to Be More Like the Religious?
- Religious Belief is Not a Mental Illness
- Atheists and Interfaith Dialogue