Your first category is largely a straw man argument. Literalist is a terribly unhelpful term and I wish people would stop using it. People who call themselves literalists are not actually literalists in the sense that they take every word of the Bible as literally true and devoid of metaphor and hyperbole. This is made obvious by the fact that you don't see any fundamentalists walking around with patched eyes, or chopped off limbs despite the teachings of Jesus .

Quote Originally Posted by Matthew 18:8-9
And if your hand or your foot causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life crippled or lame than with two hands or two feet to be thrown into the eternal fire. And if your eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life with one eye than with two eyes to be thrown into the hell of fire.
Furthermore, belief in Sola Scriptura does not equal belief in literalism. Sola Scriptura teaches that the scriptural manuscripts as they were originally written are the only source of inerrant and infallible authority. This allows for interpretation according to the intent of the authors and other factors. What is written as history should be accepted as history and what is written as poetry should be interpreted as such. The mere fact that a passage contains a miracle should not put it outside the category of history if all other aspects of the writing demonstrate that it is a testimonial account (this is in answer to what you claim as the "daunting task" of separating history from metaphor). All that being said it really isn't that difficult to ascertain the broader teachings of the bible. The westminster confession of faith (WCF) a 400 year old document that is arguably the cornerstone of the protestant faith puts it in these terms:

Quote Originally Posted by WCF
All things in Scripture are not alike plain in themselves, nor alike clear unto all:yet those things which are necessary to be known, believed, and observed for salvation are so clearly propounded, and opened in some place of Scripture or other, that not only the learned, but the unlearned, in a due use of the ordinary means, may attain unto a sufficient understanding of them.
Frankly i have never come across any claimed inconsistency the bible that could not be reasonably explained and I've found most of those claims to be downright laughable.

The list of proposed inconstancies is really relatively short for a collection of documents with around 40 different authors and 800,000 words. What is more amazing is the consistency of such a large collection of literature. Not to mention the overall beauty and heavenliness of its teachings of the redemption of sinners through the sacrifice and love of God. And above all the singular focus throughout all of scripture on the glory of God.

But even the WCF recognizes that these are not sufficient to persuade.

Quote Originally Posted by WCF
our full persuasion and assurance of the infallible truth and divine authority thereof, is from the inward work of the Holy Spirit bearing witness by and with the Word in our hearts.
Quote Originally Posted by Tater Typhoon View Post
the literalist embraces Articles of Faith upon the act of circular and fallacious reasoning, or "I'm correct because I'm correct", which is precisely what Articles of Faith claim, hence the crucial "Faith". Naturally, faith is characterized by a belief that is untouched by reason. Catholics would tell you that you must stir them both, but they are incongruous like oil and water.
Again this is a misrepresentation. You are making the claim that all conservative evangelicals are fideists, people who believe that reason has no place in faith. As illustrated above the WCF gives reasons to believe even though ultimately belief is based upon faith. The protestant faith is largely a reasonable faith. You say the two don't mix, but I argue you can't come to a reasonable belief in anything without ultimately placing faith in some presupposition. Therefore, conservative evangelicalism is no more circular than any other belief system.

For more info on what historically the protestant church has taught about scripture see Westminster Confession of Faith Chapter 1: Of The Holy Scriptures

Quote Originally Posted by Mystic Tater
In the center ring we have those who dwell in the ambiguous area of observing scripture impartially with external evidence that would otherwise contradict it.
LOL, everyone is bias and everyone brings there own presuppositions into any analysis. There is no such thing as an impartial analysis of scripture.

They derive their own meaning from scripture, and always have been, hence the fragmentation of religious sects. However, once they derive subjective meaning from objective claims, they undo objective meaning, which is the gestalt of religion itself. They basically claim to be God by relaying their understanding of "objective truth".
This part of your analysis I heartily agree with.

This is what basically happened to Hitler. Dietrich Bonhoeffer, theologian, pastor and the man in my avatar, was famously cut off in a german radio broadcast where he claimed that Hitler had become an idol unto himself.

Martyrdom and blood sacrifice does not indicate invariable truth, it only indicates a foolhardy illusion that one has obtained the truth. One should never have to prove one's-self by self-sacrifice!!!
Martyrdom and blood sacrifice are not absolute proof of objective truth. But, if there is objective truth and [b[If[/b] the teachings of Christ are part of that truth than it is not a waste to sacrifice oneself for them. Moreover, such sacrifice can instill a great deal of hope, courage and bravery in the face of evil.

Bonhoeffer's life is an example of this claim. He wrote the following hymn in a nazi concentration camp before he was executed for his preaching against hitler and his part in a Hitler assassination attempt (the same one portrayed in the movie Valkyrie):

Quote Originally Posted by Dietrich Bonhoeffer
And when this cup You give is filled to brimming
with bitter suffering, hard to understand,
we take it thankfully and without trembling,
out of so good and so beloved a hand.

Yet when again in this same world You give us
the joy we had, the brightness of Your Sun,
we shall remember all the days we lived through,
and our whole life shall then be Yours alone.
Lastly, there are those who go about their daily lives, mulling over what has been granted to them through this gift that we call life, harboring their own reasons and meanings for being who they are - which, as far as I can tell, is the only responsible, creative, and liberating path to follow. For me, anyway.
This path is much like the second and only leads one to become a god unto herself.

From what are you liberated?

More importantly, on what basis do you find such liberation, as well as responsibility and creativity to be values to be held above others... what is your authority... yourself?

How do you know life is a gift?