There are some things that I will say in this blog as well as in real life that come across as really very harsh. In real life conversation and teaching I normally have the time to explain a few things that the blog format does not really allow for. I am going to say those things here.
1) Criticism of an idea is, in itself, not criticism of a person. This is an important distinction because I am often very critical of ideas, even ideas that many people hold very dear. If I intend to criticize a person I will make that amply clear. Otherwise take it as going after an idea. Good people can easily hold goofy ideas. I may or may not be good but I am pretty sure I hold some goofy ideas. I try to find them and to the best of my ability root them out but there are good betting odds that I still hold plenty. So, if I criticize or attack and idea you are committed to please know that I am not attacking you personally.
2) Right theology or doctrine is important but it is not everything, it is not even fundamentally vital (this one will require a post unto itself, here I just state my point.) This links to the above distinction. Good and even righteous people can have goofy ideas, even goofy ideas about God. Those goofy ideas do not make God love or like them any less. However, right theology or doctrine make a big difference to the quality of a person's and a community's life as does right thinking in any other area. I may deeply criticize theology or doctrine you hold very dear, know well that such criticism does not indicate that I am placing you beyond the pale of redemption.
3) I may be completely wrong about everything. There are limits to human knowledge and one of those limits is that we are unable to be sure of where the limits lie. Now, the last time I checked I think I qualify as a human. However, I think I am right. There are some things that I am more committed to than others and that variation in commitment come from my assessment of both the importance of the issue and my confidence that I am in touch with reality. Nevertheless, even when I am most committed I know I may still be completely wrong. The corollary of this is that I am entirely open to the ideas of others being completely wrong as well.
4) I fundamentally believe that the truth is far better and more beautiful than any of us can comprehend. With this in mind, I don't have a problem being wrong because the truth is even better than what I happen to currently believe.
5) Honestly, I don't take myself particularly seriously. It always surprises me when others do take me seriously. I am just an explorer searching my way through the world. I am curious and find reality in all it's complexity immensely interesting.
I may need to add to this, but for now what I have here should do.