Nobody really takes the Bible literally, no matter what they claim - unless there are groups out there that believe God is literally a hard inert mineral.
What they really do is interpret, and they don't even do that consistently, much less literally. Of course, we all do interpret Scripture, after all, according to our own biases, knowledge, experience etc. I'd just like to see them be honest about it. Upon what basis and using what criteria do they decide that Genesis should be understood "literally" and John 6 metaphorically?
I have yet to get a good answer, and if someone says "Scripture interprets Scripture" to me again, I'll start screaming.
This is a critical question for me as well. As I am in my infancy of learning I will only offer my understanding of the methodology of Wesleyan interpretive principles. I ask for your patience as I will attempt
an educated statement using references I have recently read myself and the included quotations are all John Wesley. A summary statement could be 'John Wesley added the concept of Christian Experience to the Anglican Triad of Scripture, reason, and tradition.'
First and foremost is the need for Divine inspiration; “The Spirit of God not only once inspired those who wrote it, but continually inspires and supernaturally assists those that read it with earnest prayer.”
Secondly, is Scripture; “The general rule of interpreting the Scripture is this: the literal sense of every text is to be taken if it be not contrary to some other texts” Genres of literature, symbolism, metaphors, and figurative language are of no less significance but our first 'desire' should be the literal meaning unless leading to absurdity, contradicts context or Scripture. According to context; Wesley viewed the Bible as a whole and the various texts as a part of a single theology. At the risk of being screamed at by fellow southern folk
he preached interpreting ‘Scripture by Scripture according to the analogy of faith.’ By the analogy of faith Wesley meant interpreting Scripture by Scripture, with special reference to its doctrinal teaching. The Scripture is not a group of unrelated statements. He felt the wholeness of biblical theology was a key. He preached to never accept interpretation of a particular passage that is contrary to the teaching of the whole of Scripture. At least that's how I understand 'Scripture interpreting Scripture'.
As secondary (supportive) but equally important in methods of interpretation, is reason, tradition, and experience:
Wesley clearly realized the importance of reason in understanding the Oracles of God. At the same time, he understood that reason was only to be a “hand-maiden of faith, the servant of revelation.” He knew that reason had severe limitations and cannot be trusted alone. “Let reason do all that reason can: employ it as far as it will go. But at the same time acknowledge it is utterly incapable of giving either faith, or hope or love: and consequently of producing either real virtue or substantial happiness. Expect these from a higher source, even from the Father of the spirits of all flesh.”
Though it may be difficult to find in some Wesleyan Churches today I do not think it can be argued that tradition should hold a profound value in both interpretation as well as delivering the Gospel. “From a child I was taught to love and reverence the Scriptures, the oracles of God and next to these to esteem the primitive Fathers, the writers of the first three centuries. Next after the primitive church, I esteemed our own, the Church of England, as the most scriptural national church in the world.” The study of Christian tradition was far more than a curiosity for Wesley. He felt the writings of the Church Fathers prior to the Council of Nicea were to be valued just below the Scriptures themselves as, “containing pure, uncorrupted doctrine of Christ, and so inspired as to be scarce capable of mistake.”
Lastly is Christian Experience. IMHO we could perhaps say ‘fruit of the spirit’. That mere acceptance of the authority of Scripture, reason, and tradition was never adequate until it was seen that the authority was conferred by the Holy Spirit. To examine the spiritual state as possibilities in living men, to see if the interpretation was true to life. Wesley was convinced that experience, whether contemporary or ancient, could clarify and confirm Scripture, but it would never supersede it. In considering the relationship between Scripture, reason and experience, Christian Experience might be explained as confirmation. When Truth is revealed it shall change lives.
Well, I rambled on a bit perhaps and apologize to the OP if I have gone too far off topic. I’m not sure if this helped answer your question but if nothing else it was beneficial for my growth to write it out like this. Thus, I thank you all for your patience with me.