Like Diogenes with his lantern, I keep looking for an honest answer...?

I tried asking this earlier, but no one seemed to want to actually address the question...: http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index;... The vast majority of theists realize it'd be foolish to try to defend the Bible as 100% literal truth (Talking snakes and donkeys? A man surviving in a whale's... show more I tried asking this earlier, but no one seemed to want to actually address the question...:

http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index;...

The vast majority of theists realize it'd be foolish to try to defend the Bible as 100% literal truth (Talking snakes and donkeys? A man surviving in a whale's digestive tract for three days? Seeing the entirety of a spherical world from the top of a mountain?). But once you open the floodgates and acknowledge that some parts are allegory or symbolism, where do you draw the line?

Couldn't the resurrection of Jesus be just a metaphor?

Might the threat of Hell or the promise of Heaven be strictly symbolic?

If certain parts MUST be literally true for you to keep believing, by what criteria do you make that determination?

Where's the objective yardstick by which we measure all the truth claims of the Bible?

If there actually IS one, then why do so few self-identified Christians know about or use it -- thus leading to the countless denominations and schisms over what ought to be as self-evident as the Sun in the sky?

If there ISN'T one, why should we take ANY of the Bible at face value?

And if the differences between all the thousands of different sects are just quibbling over minutiae, why not just do away with the Bible -- the source of all the conflict and division -- entirely? It seems like the entire message of Christianity would fit on the back of a postcard, if you were to strip away all the contentious and unsubstantiated bits...

Your thoughts?
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