Mark Snoeberger is a professor at our sister institution, Detroit Baptist Theological Seminary. He has written has a useful post on literal interpretation. He highlights two problems: first, a danger that literal interpreters face, and second, the problem of nomenclature. He finds a template for addressing the second problem in Constitutional law. Mark packs quite a bit into a short essay. Here’s an excerpt:
There is much to be said for the need to expand our quest for meaning beyond mere words to include the historical context and theological presuppositions/framework of the writers. To fixate too narrowly on the words is often to miss the forest for the trees, theologically speaking. And for dispensationalists who live in perpetual suspicion of “theological systems,” this threat is a real one.