The Bible should be taken seriously word for word.
That does not mean it should be taken literally word for word.
In fact, not only are these two claims different from one another. They are fundamentally inconsistent with one another. In the Bible, we are dealing with a library of ancient texts written in three foreign languages between 2000-3000 years ago in cultures and contexts foreign to the contemporary reader. To approach all those texts (in one’s favorite contemporary English translation) based on the assumption that the “literal” reading is always the default correct position is hopelessly naive. Indeed, it is an abdication of the responsibility of the reader to take the preliminary work of figuring out the meaning of the text in its historical context. That is anything but serious.
Even worse, all-too-often “literal” is not really literal. Rather, it is code for what seems to me to be the plain reading. Once again, this is not a serious treatment of the text. Rather, it exemplifies a facile and misbegotten bastardization of the Reformation principle of the perspicuity of Scripture.