Thank you for your excellent response.
I am glad that “metaphor” is a big topic in the philosophy of language. I agree that modernism based on the absolute nature of language does not work. I agree that postmodernism based on the relative nature of language does not work.
The question then arises as to why does “metaphor” or the language of the Bible work? It should be noted that Hebrew is a poetic language and most of the OT is written in poetry and poetry is metaphoric language. The NT is written in Greek by ethnic Jews who spoke a form of Hebrew and certainly thought in more Hebrew mode.
All of God’s speaking through the prophets is poetry as well as the Psalms. The Greek language is a prepositional language suited for science and philosophy. It was the universal language of the ancient Gentile world. Christianity became a fusion of Greek and Hebrew thinking, but today it is more Greek than Hebrew which causes problems when we try to understand the Gospel and the Bible.
Modernism does not work because there is no Absolute Truth as the Greek philosophers sought. Absolute means free from relationships, static Perfection. That is not what the Hebrew God, YHWH, is all about. YHWH is about covenantal relationships and love, which are not Absolute or static.
Post Modernism based on relativism as about change. It captures the truth that there are no absolutes in nature or life. I read that Newton decided that time and space were absolute, based on false theological concepts. Newton’s universe worked scientifically for a while, but no more. However it is still the universe that most Christians live in, which causes problems as the evolution debate indicates.
Relativist post modernism does explain change like evolution, but not continuity like faith and truth. Each side has part of the truth, but not the whole truth. In a sense each side represent half the Western dualism, Modernism reflects the Mind, idealism, the One and continuity of Reality. Post Modernism reflects the Body, practical science, the Many, and the discontinuity of Reality.
How does Metaphor bridge this gap if it really does? It can and does since it is relational. This is the hidden answer that it appears that you did not learn in your class, because few people understand it, even though some people are beginning to talk about it.
In the synoptic gospels Jesus teaches by parables and actions. John is different. Jesus says things like “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Light. No one comes to the Father but by Me.” This is not parabolic speech or so it seems, unless you look carefully at it. It is relational language as all language is relational. It tells us not eternal propositions, but how we are to relate to Jesus, to God the Father, and indirectly to other people.
Most people think that language is abstract, but Jesus the Word/Logos demonstrates that it is not. It is relational. It is how we relate to others and even to God as we think though language. That is why we need to understand Language as relational and the Universe as relational and ourselves as relational and God the Trinity, Father/Creator, Son/Logos, and Holy Spirit/Love as relational (rather Absolute or Relative.)