From The Openness of God:
But most scholars would reject a sharp division between literal and figurative theistic language in the Bible. This implies that all metaphors are alike, and such a view obscures the rich variations within the biblical descriptions of God.
While no metaphor provides us with a literal account of the divine reality – a one-to-one correspondence to its object – this does not mean that all metaphors are equally distant from the object represented… most Christians would agree that God is more like a shepherd thank a rock, and more like a parent than a shepherd. So within the broad spectrum of biblical metaphors, some are more important than others. These metaphors bear a stronger resemblance to the divine reality – they are closer, so to speak, to the intended