This is a question that is often asked, and if we give the wrong answer we can end up being treated as a half crazed religious zealot; to answer this properly we have to decide what we mean by ‘literally’.
Our brains work really well when it comes to metaphors, we can subconsciously pull meaning from stories, examples and phrases with no effort; in fact when people struggle with metaphors we have to make special allowances. I remember a student in one of the schools Sandra and I oversee asking for help with his work, I answered, “I won’t be a minute”. When I got to his desk he informed me that I had been one minute and forty three seconds; because he was autistic he took what was said at it’s literal face value, whilst everyone else knew I would be with him in a short period of time. What we learn from this is much of what we say isn’t meant to be taken literally, and the same is true for the Bible. Read more