<< These two last exchanges are very clear and helpful.Maybe another reason
many believers have reservations about going here is that it seems so many
cross quickly from faith and possibilities to arrogance and scissors. Once
one jumps in and confidently identifies the "nonfactual elements" in the
bible, usually tagged as anywhere the stationary book doesn't line up with
the moving science,it seems to unravel from there.(I realize you aren't
saying exactly that) Some find Noah mythical (I lean that way myself)
others find ressurections or sin mythical.It seems to me difficult for some
to see that is not where you will end up with this.Again I agree with much
here but how do you calm the fears of those who don't see such a clear
division between historical truth and inspired truth.Surely you can
understand their misunderstanding here. > >>
Certainly I understand their concerns, but it seems to be based on an
insistence on a Foundationalism that exists neither in science nor theology.
(N.B. I do not mean that we have no reasons for believing, any more than that
we have no reasons for doing science.) Nancey Murphy of Fuller Seminary makes
a good case that both classical liberal theology and "fundamentalism" are both
dogs being wagged by the tail of Modern philosophy that insisted on certainty.
See her book "Beyond Liberalism & Fundamentalism",  and to a lesser
extent, her "Anglo-American Postmodernity", . The book "The Nature of
Confession" edited by T.R. Phillips and D.L. Okholm  also addresses some
of the issues surrounding Foundationalism as seen by a number of Evangelical
and "postliberal" theologians.
I think part of the problem in discussing these issues of inspiration and
"types of literature" is a function of our commonly 'non-literate' American
culture, by which I mean that the idea of symbolism and what Lewis called
"second meanings" is foreign to many people, even on non-biblical items. Ask
a roomful of people what the classic movie High Noon is about and they'll
describe the Western town, gunfights, etc. Most people are shocked to find
out that the screenwriters said it was about blacklisting in Hollywood during
the McCarthy era.
Maybe George Murphy as a parish pastor will have some suggestions on how best
to approach such issues in a church setting.
Karl V. Evans