After reading your post it would seem that the majority of our disagreement comes from the controversy over my interpretation of the Torah.
I am not willing to restrict my opinion to fundamentalist views, the Rabbis views or any other groups views.
With that said there are several comments which do not directly pertain to the Torah I will respond to.
I did not say that there is only one type of radioactive dating.
I discussed the two most commonly used types of radioactive dating because they are the most common.
It is impossible to discuss my thoughts about the climate conditions at the poles before the “great flood “ described in genesis without understanding my opinion about the structure of the planet at that point in time. Because we have decided not to discuss Genesis chapter one, I think this subject is at an impasse.
***Since when does water transform rock, except maybe into blood in the new testament***
A flood as described in the Torah would cause large amounts of sedimentary rock.
If you need more explanation then this I can give you some site referrals.
***The Torah is Jewish literature. It has some metaphorical truth. But god did not write it. Humans did. What you are reading is not even what the jews wrote.
If you wish to keep this opinion you should not study the Torah for yourself.
I decided to do that to reinforce my belief in evolution and look what happened to me.
The original Hebrew was modified by King James and only recently have we gotten better translations, except for the TRANSLATION BY JEWS INTO ENGLISH.***
I use an interlinear Hebrew and English which allows me to easily look up word definitions. I also use a few computer programs speed up the search and lookup process. I also read technical information composed by scholars appropriate fields of knowledge.
I will close with a response to your title.
***Why Not Take The New Testament Literally?***
There are two reasons the Torah and the Bible as a hole use non literal meanings.
The first reason is evident in Jesus’s use of parables.
God must hold us responsible for the opportunities we have and the knowledge we are given.
In a parable God gives everyone information.
The ones who accept that God has a perfect character who only desires our good will understand the meaning.
The ones who will not accept Gods perfect character will not understand the meaning and therefore will not require a more sever punishment because they did not comprehend the knowledge given.
In this way God is merciful to the individuals who is not willing to respect God for his character.
The second reason nonliteral meanings are used is because things we are unfamiliar with are being described.
If you wanted to describe a cell phone with a visual screen to someone at the time of the telegraph you would say is was like a telegraph that has wires made of air which click so fast a mirage forms that looks just like the person on the other end of the air wire.
When the Torah describes something about heaven we are unable to comprehend it without a comparison to something we understand. A nonliteral description is necessary.
Regarding discussions about nonliteral portions of scripture.
In John 3:12 the “born again” requirement for entry into heaven is discussed.
Jesus is describing how a person makes peace with God and Nicodemus is listening.
Nicodemus cannot accept the idea that God is willing to be personally involved and preform a miracle ( preform an action that Nicodemus does not understand ) if necessary to make peace between himself and God.
Jesus tells him I have told you Earthly things ( things you can see, feel and test which are the miracles Jesus was preforming ) and you will not believe me. How will you believe if I tell you heavenly things ( things you can not see feel and test. )
Richard perhaps you think that God does not care enough about you to cause a supernatural book to come into existence for your good.
If you can not believe such a little thing as this how can you believe He is willing to do what it will take to save your soul?
I am willing to risk my faith in God and allow you to interrogate my logical understanding of the genesis creation story if it will help you consider that the Torah may be inspired by God.
It would seem you will not consider the Torah to be inspired any other way.
If the book is not inspired what good can it possibly do you?