The following quote is taken from Anthony C. Thiselton's essay "Can 'Authority' Remain Viable in a Postmodern Climate?" This is taken from his Thiselton on Hermeneutics: Collected Works with New Essays (2006).
In context the discussion is on language and the power of language to shape the world. That language is multi-functional and multi-layered. Thiselton suggests that "a number of the more traditional discussions of the authority of the Bible have suffered impoverishment through inadequate and simplistic understandings of the nature and function of language."
Although I pray the day will never dawn when I procreate, if indeed I am entrusted with a young mind to shape and form you can bet that Thiselton will be required reading. For those of you not familiar with Thiselton let me simply say that he was the most brilliant biblical hermeneutical mind of the 20th century. Without him Conservative biblical hermeneutical scholarship would be even more in the dark corners of anti-intellectual thought than they already are.
But Thiselton is not a postmodern advocate, by any means. I mention that to say that the following quote does not represent a hasty attack on Evangelical or Conservative thinking.
The terminology "propositional" and "non-propositional" sets the discussion off in unhelpful directions, but what those who use this term generally seek to express is that some genres within the Bible authoritatively declare the truth of certain states of affairs. If such terms are useful, distinctions of genre must also be borne in mind. For it would be patently absurd to claim that poetry or parables are "propositional" in the same sense as historical assertions within the Passion narrative that record the facts of the crucifixion. This unfortunate terminological misunderstanding may well have been set off by the reaction of the conservative Charles Hodge of Princeton (1797-1878) against the liberal Horace Bushnell of Yale (1802-76). Bushnell earned the name "father of American Liberalism", and his theology of the atonement fell short in ways that provoked Hodge. But Bushnell appealed to the role of metaphor in the Bible in ways that in principle would seem almost axiomatic to most biblical specialists and to virtually all literary theorists today. The problem was not that Bushnell appealed to metaphor, but how and when he did this. To call Jesus a "sacrifice", he urged, is the same level of metaphor as to call him a "lamb". Rather than debating the scope and function of metaphor, Hodge reacted by claiming the whole of the Bible was "propositional" and "cognitive". The Bible "is a storehouse of facts". He had no interest in the creative power of metaphor. In 1870 after fifty years of teaching he declared as praise for Princeton: "I am not afraid to say that a new idea never originated in this seminary." The consequences of this dreadful polarization have devastated American theology and hermeneutics for about a century, and the damage remains in terms of extremism here and there on both sides. (p. 631) (Bolding is mine)