I believe in the Bible. The entire Bible is total truth revealed by God. Easy enough! My belief is supported by reason, historical facts, and ultimately true Biblical faith. I take the approach that if something in the Bible seems implausible, that's a problem, but the problem is with me, not the Bible.
I've always had a problem with the story of Jonah (you know...the whale thing). Because of the whale I've always wanted to ultimately treat this story as something other than historical narrative. I've reasoned: Jonah is in the Bible, I believe in the Bible, I believe in Jonah. But, why then, up until now, have I dismissed certain parts and not taken seriously the full meaning of the story? I have not been able to solve my big problem - until recently.
Now I see that Jonah is not allegory. Jonah is not historical cultural commentary. Jonah is not an Old testament parable. Jonah is historical fact. Seeing Jonah this way changes how I read the story! That's important. Soon I am teaching a class on understanding the Gospel and I'll be working through parts of Jonah. I am obligated to solve my own problem before I can teach what the class is about.
How can I now say Jonah is historical fact? Because of the historical truth of Jesus and how he treats the story of Jonah. In Mathew 12:38-45 and Luke 11-29-32 Jesus teaches using the story Jonah - as fact! Simple, but amazing!
(A big HT to Porter)