This is an essay from former member DTE. He originally posted it in the old forum. I have saved it and am re-posting here. Enjoy.
No Noah? No Christ: Why Christians cannot claim metaphor and believe in Jesus.
This is why Christians cannot be allowed to disavow Noah, Jonah or other ridiculous stories and cling to their faith and belief in a risen, saving Christ: Jesus believed in them per the bible and the bible is the testimony of his resurrection. To paraphrase a silly bumpersticker: Know Noah, know Christ. No Noah, no Christ.
Lineage of Jesus
Luke 3:23b-24, 36-38 - He was the son, so it was thought, of Joseph, the son of Matthat, the son of Levi, the son of Melki, the son of Jannai, the son of Joseph... the son of Cainan, the son of Arphaxad, the son of Shem, the son of Noah, the son of Lamech, the son of Methuselah, the son of Enoch, the son of Jared, the son of Mahalalel, the son of Kenan, the son of Enosh, the son of Seth, the son of Adam, the son of God.
An historical Noah is necessary to the Christ of the Scripture ever existing, as the Bible names Noah as an ancestor of Jesus (Thanks to Atheist Devil for that one).
Jesus' use of Noah:
Matthew 24: 36-39 - No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man.
Luke 17:26-27 - "Just as it was in the days of Noah, so also will it be in the days of the Son of Man. People were eating, drinking, marrying and being given in marriage up to the day Noah entered the ark. Then the flood came and destroyed them all.
The historical events of the ark are used to explain what will be the historical circumstance of the second coming. Notice the as it was... so it will be structure. What happened then shows what will happen then.
Noah as an example of saving faith and justification by faith
Hebrews 11:1, 6-7 - Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see... And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him. By faith Noah, when warned about things not yet seen, in holy fear built an ark to save his family. By his faith he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness that comes by faith.
Noah is going to be in heaven among the Christians with the same saving faith. (Notice also, Hebrews 11 is a litany of faithful Old Testament saints (including Abraham) each of whose historicity is demanded by Noah.
While he was dead, Christ preached to the people drowned in Noah's flood
1 Peter 3:18-20 - For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive by the Spirit, through whom also he went and preached to the spirits in prison who disobeyed long ago when God waited patiently in the days of Noah while the ark was being built. In it only a few people, eight in all, were saved through water,
Notice first, that Peter is discussing Christ's saving work.
After Christ was put to death, he preached by the Holy Spirit to those disobedient souls that drowned in Noah's flood. If there are no such souls, there is no reason to believe Christ was ever put to death.
God's destruction of sinners and preservation of the righteous demonstrated by Noah
2 Peter 2: 4-5, 9 - For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but sent them to hell, putting them into gloomy dungeons to be held for judgment; if he did not spare the ancient world when he brought the flood on its ungodly people, but protected Noah, a preacher of righteousness, and seven others; ... if this is so, then the Lord knows how to rescue godly men from trials and to hold the unrighteous for the day of judgment, while continuing their punishment.
God's real ability to rescue the godly and judge the wicked is evidenced in his historic, respective rescuing and judging of them. One such historical act of God which is adduced as a ground of God's faithfulness is Noah.
The flood is evidence of Christ's imminent return
2 Peter 3:3-7 - First of all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires. They will say, "Where is this 'coming' he promised? Ever since our fathers died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation." But they deliberately forget that long ago by God's word the heavens existed and the earth was formed out of water and by water. By these waters also the world of that time was deluged and destroyed. By the same word the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men.
Scoffers, mocking Christ's "failure" to come (when in reality, he tarries in grace-- read veres 8ff, if you're interested) are deliberately ignorant of the 'fact' of the flood, that is evidence of the same word bringing another imminent judgement upon the world.
Without the historicity of Noah, there is no Christianity. Christians who pretend otherwise are dishonest, whether to themselves or to others.