Given a goal of relating to current world affairs, I'd highly recommend digging into some of the early western cannon - some of those authors are fundamental to understanding how Christianity developed. These authors framed some of the famous ideas and even create some of the common language. (Milton's invention of Satan's revolt against God & the temptation of Jesus - mythology not in the bible). I'd start with Augustine's the 'City of God' and then 'On Christian Doctrine'. Augustine lived a fascinating life - born in N. Africa in the last days of the Roman empire and wrote in the context of Alarics's sack of Rome. Deep debates with Roman officials and the neo-Platonists of the time. I think you'll get more for your time if you closely couple the Biblical reading w/ Augustine. Example: On Christian Doctrine III
Chap. 10 "...to find out whether a phrase is literal or figurative...". Hope this helps.