The most memorable quote that I heard at SBL was at the blogger charity dinner. Raymond van Leeuwen, who introduced Michael Fox at the dinner, said something to this effect when discussing the Book of Proverbs:
Scripture is a toolbox for grappling with the issues of real life.
I’m sure I didn’t get it just right. But, the point is that scripture is not a book filled with easy black and white answers. In Proverbs for instance, sometimes the instructions contradict each other. Which advice to take depends on the person and the situation. And, sometimes which advice to take is a gray area. Thinking of scripture as a toolbox is a good analogy. I have thought like this for quite some time, but have never heard it phrased quite that way before.