When someone asks you if you take the Bible literally, what they usually mean is do you take the Bible seriously? They want to know if you believe all that “crazy stuff” about talking snakes and resurrected messiahs.

Greg Koukl suggests that when someone asks if you take the Bible literally, do not respond with a simple “yes” answer. It is too ambiguous, and open to misinterpretation. Respond, “I take it in the sense the author intended it.” Then, you might expand a little bit to say, “If he meant it in a literal sense, I take it in a literal sense. If he meant it in a metaphorical sense, I interpret it accordingly, in an attempt to uncover the literal truth intended by the metaphor.” This is the same way we interpret all communication.