A post from Peter Rollins on thinking more critically than agree/disagree. He says, in part:
One of the things that I often see in discussions concerning some thinker is the use of the phrases “agree” and “disagree.” For instance, in relation to my own work I often see phrases like, “I agree with much of what says,” “I don’t agree with everything” or “I disagree with…”
These terms can initially seem like evidence of critical thinking (i.e. someone is willing to critically affirm or question what they are reading), yet these terms are actually more symptomatic of uncritical thought.
This is helpful reminder to all of us – but especially students, who are just learning to read texts critically (and hopefully charitably). By making my best effort to understand what an author is saying, to enter into his or her world and foregoing for the moment my likes and dislikes, I stand the best possible chance of being enlarged in my thinking by that author’s perspective. Thus reading can be an a act of love, love of the author, but also an expression of rightly-ordered self love.