Just teasing Anonymous... we know you're still out there, reading. 'S OK.
It has occurred to me that the fundamental difference is between Anonymous and me is this: He (and, I gotta believe it's a he... all that "girls" language) believes that, in order to be justified (as in, made right with God) he must adhere to every word of scripture as if it were literally true for all times and places. I do not believe that. In fact, I do not believe that honors the intention of the Author/author(s) at all.
I take Scripture very, very seriously--to the extent of learning the original languages in which it was written, to the extent of reading what many, many others beside myself have said about it, including Calvin, Augustine, Teresa of Avila, Julian of Norwich and others. I take it seriously in that I engage with and wrestle with texts that are painful and difficult and wholly unacceptable (the stories from Judges; the Levite's Concubine, and Jepthah's daughter). I wrestle with it until, like the angel by the river Jabbok, it gives a blessing. I immerse myself in it daily, even the parts that I disagree with. The word of scripture is not God. The word of scripture is not the Word, eternally begotten before time itself.
I guess I believe in the Wesleyan Quadrilateral. Scripture is brought in to dialogue with Tradition (as in, the teaching of the church over the centuries) AND with one's God-given Reason AND with one's life Experience. One trusts that God is bigger than scripture, and that God is still speaking (as I've heard it said). There is infinite knowledge and grace in the divine that has not been reduced to even those blessed and sacred 66 chapters which some people worship to the point of bibliolatry.
Enough. Elvis has left the building. Let's talk about the signs all around us of God's love at work in this broken and beautiful world.