what parts of the bible to believe and what to not believe. you can't just pick and choose what parts are allegory and what parts are "real". you can't just pick to follow this part, and reject that part. whan you do that you're creating your own religion based on your own wants/desires/biases/etc. you might as well be an atheist.
That's a great point.
Interestingly enough, the creation of the bible was "pick and choose." The creation of covenant theology was a reaction to the failure of God"s prophesy. The temple was destroyed? Ok, let's make it so that God meant that the temple would stay only if we never sinned against Him.
The writing of and the selection of bible books and scripture is all subjective. What was the Council of Nicea if not "pick and choose?" And how many years did it take to consider Revelation part of the bible?
Over 400 years.
There's your pick and choose. The bible wasn't created in its full form. Mythology was happening during the writing of the bible. The Gospels were not just reinterpretations. Scripture was actually changed during this time, if it did not suit the writer. This or that prophesy failed? Easy. Change the prophesy to fit. Change "history" to fit the prophesy. It's ok; you're an evangelist. You're doing this for the glory of god. It's not really lying.
But April is right. You might as well be an atheist. Because if it's symbolic, then, well, Jesus, performed miracles, came back to life, and flew up into the sky is symbolic. If you don't believe Jesus is God, only symbolically God, and that God is symbolic too, then you're an atheist. Because if the bible is allegoy, so then must be its characters.If you take it as allegory, you are an atheist.
The sad thing is that it was genesis that put a stop to mythology. For the first time, it was to be taken literally. The snake, Adam and Eve--they were supposed to have existed. Cain, Abel, "his wife," all real. These are precisely the characters that liberal christians reject as symbolic. For good reason, as they simply are not original symbols in any way.
It doesn't matter, though, if every single thing in the bible were symbolic. The teachings are still evil. The entire premise is to fight nature and join the supernatural.
But in my symbols, the good guys fight on the side of the world.