"What parts can, and what parts cannot be taken literally are anybody's guess. Everyone gets to pick and choose what they want to be literal."
I don't think that's well thought through brother. "Anyone's guess"? "Everyone gets to pick & choose what they want to be literal."
No. That may sound good to some as a non-defense defense but I don't believe that.
Consider in 2 Timothy 2 Paul said:
"15Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth. 16But avoid irreverent babble, for it will lead people into more and more ungodliness, 17and their talk will spread like gangrene. Among them are Hymenaus and Philetus, 18who have swerved from the truth, saying that the resurrection has already happened.
Or how the entire book of Revelation opens in Chapter 1:
1The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show to his servants the things that must soon take place. He made it known by sending his angel to his servant John (*there goes that previous explaining away of the phrase concerning an angel from heaven just being some aetherial who knows what - my added) who bore witness to the word of God and to the testimony of Jesus Christ, even to all that he saw.3Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear, and who keep what is written in it, for the time is near.
And so, it seems there is a blessing in reading aloud the words of this prophecy, hearing it, & keeping it. So, there's something to it other than just "everyone makes it up as they go, so what difference does it make?" I think. And let me address a potential response upfront - for those who say (as Preterists do): "see, it says NEAR, SOON, etc. not 2,000 years later.." Again, 1,000 years is as a day to the Lord & Jesus said "I am coming soon!" But He still hasn't come back and that's been over 2,000 years ago, so there you go. And if you say, no, they were full of the spirit and had clarity now & even the prophetic was clear because of progressive revelation (and even though I believe in progressive revelation as a concept, but think it's generalized and over-applies to prop up these views- it is ironic that this is THE LAST BOOK of the Bible. 😊). And besides, if it was just for them and already all happened, then satan is already in the lake of fire, Jesus has already returned, The wedding supper of the Lamb & the Great White throne judgements have already occurred, the New Heavens/Earth/Jerusalem have already come down from heaven, etc. We her to at least be consistent and use some rational thought, logic, consistency right?