In college, I had a Comparative Religion professor who used "literalist" and "interpretist" when it came to "historical religion" - meaning "one who takes religious statements and stories literally" and "one who looks for interpretations, allegories or morals and, generally, ignores questions of historicity". I really liked that distinction, since it removes the condescension and negative connotations inherent in quasi-political terms like "liberal" and "conservative". I also like the "black and white" vs. "gray" description I've heard from lots of people. The first one tends to see everything clearly (or at least believe they see clearly) - which qualification shows my own perspective, the latter. One tends to state things as absolutes; the other tends to use words like "tends", "most", "many", "I think", "I believe", etc.
Frankly, I am a combination of the two - and it drives some people nuts on both "sides". I am a hardcore parser, since I hate defending what I don't say or believe just because someone assumes what I don't say. That tends to be associated with literalists and black-and-whiters, but it's just common courtesy to me. (Golden Rule) I live a VERY conservative lifestyle, and it leads many people to assume I have a strictly conservative, literalist view, but philosophically I am very interpretive and see gray in most things. There are certain things that I feel totally comfortable claiming to "know", while there are many things I simply believe, accept or don't worry about understanding for now.
Ironically, both extremes legitimately can be called "lazy" by the other. Those who see in black and white (literalists) can be said to be copping-out and avoiding the pain of nuances and contradiction; those who see gray (interpretists) can be said to be endlessly avoiding having to make a firm decision by eternally wandering in the middle.
Summary: I believe in moderation / balance in all things, including terms like liberal, conservative, intellectual, orthodox, literalism, interpretive, etc. I think if you can be characterized too easily as one thing or another, you probably aren't thinking enough - that if there is no "internal opposition in all things", you probably are too sure of yourself. However, I also believe there are certain areas, concepts, principles, commands, etc. that really can be grasped as universal and undeniable - that really do constitute absolutes. It's figuring out individually what those things are for me and allowing others to reach different conclusions for themselves that is the central issue, imho. That is inherently a painful process, but it's where I think the real growth occurs – the muddle in the middle.