One of the reflexive responses of compromisers regarding Genesis is, "You can't take it literally". To me, that says, "I reject anything that indicates a creation week of 24-hour days, a young Earth and a Noachian flood, because I add millions of years and interpret the Bible through "nature", which is the 67th book of the Bible."
That is a very bad idea:
- A straightforward reading of the book of Genesis does not give any "wiggle room" for any of those compromise doctrines to add huge amounts of time
- It leads to a series of compromises through the Bible
- God takes a dim view of people tampering with his word and "exceeding what is written" (for example, Prov. 30.6, Deut. 4.2, Rev. 22.18-19, 1 Cor. 4.6 NASB)
But...what does it mean to take Genesis "literally"? I tend to cringe when people say that, because misotheists will find all sorts of strange things to take out of context and then accuse Christians of believing "that" (which is not only a transparent attempt at manipulation through ridicule, but a straw man fallacy). No, I take a rational approach. Most of us Biblical creationists do, in fact.
Creationists are often accused of believing that the whole Bible should be taken literally. This is not so! Rather, the key to a correct understanding of any part of the Bible is to ascertain the intention of the author of the portion or book under discussion. This is not as difficult as it may seem, as the Bible obviously contains:No, I'm going to make you finish reading this excellent article called "Should Genesis Be Taken Literally?", here.