I recently read a Christian blog in which it was stated that the question of origins is unimportant and that arguing for a literal reading of Genesis 1-11 is a waste of time. The author states "...fundies seriously do not want to address or think through issues of  literary genre..." Judging from the issue I assume that fundie is equated to anyone with a belief in a comparatively recent creation. I decided to address the issue of the literary genre of Genesis and its importance to the rest of the Bible.

Stephen W Boyd has written a very good paper on the genre of Genesis (specifically chapter 1-2:3) in which he shows statistically that the early chapters of Genesis are the same as other narrative texts found in the Old Testament and very different from Hebrew poetry. Poetic metaphor teaches a truth, but its words do not have their normal meanings and the sequence of events portrayed in it should not be correlated with real time. Poetry "uses words to express feelings addressed by a speaker talking or thinking to him/herself rather than to the reader. Its essential quality is... meditation." Narrative on the other hand, "uses words to develop a view of character and situation through the report of the story-teller to the reader." Genesis is clearly narrative and narratives are intended to be read historically. Boyd quotes Sailhamer as saying, "A biblical narrative text takes the raw material of language and shapes it into a version of the world of empirical reality. Its essential linguistic structures are adapted to conform to events in real life. The constraints that shape real life (for example, the limitations of time and space and perspective) are the constraints to which historical narrative texts must strive to conform in their imitation of real life . . . Events and characters are put before the reader as happening just as they happen in real life. The reader looks at the events in the narrative in much the same way as he or she would look at events in real life. They happen in the text before one’s eyes."
Elsewhere he quotes Sternberg, "Were the narrative written or read as fiction, then God would turn from the lord of history into a creature of the imagination, with the most disastrous results. The shape of time, the rationale of monotheism, the foundations of conduct, the national sense of identity, the very right to the land of Israel and the hope of deliverance to come: all hang in the generic balance. Hence, the Bible’s determination to sanctify and compel literal belief in the past. It claims not just the status of history but . . . of the history, the one and only truth that, like God himself, brooks no rival . . . . if as seekers for the truth, professional or amateur, we can take or leave the truth claim of inspiration, then as readers we must simply take it—just like any other biblical premise or convention, from the existence of God to the sense borne by specific words—or else invent our own text."

We have a choice. Believe that it happened as the author states, or not.
If we claim that it is unimportant then we are out of touch with the New Testament and also most of church history. Creation in Genesis is rooted in the theology of the New Testament and the teachings of Jesus. To say that it is detrimental to Christian apologetics and a hinderance to reaching non-Christians is wrong. Nearly all the New Testament books refer to Genesis (about 200 times). Half the references are to the early chapters of Genesis and 63 are from Gen 1-3.  Fourteen are from the flood texts.
Jesus treated the early chapters of Genesis as literal history and marriage is tied to the creation story (Matthew 19:1–9); A literal Adam
(Luke 3:38); Murder is tied to the early Genesis texts (Matthew 23:35); The nature and origin of evil and sin is tied to Genesis (John 8:44); Sin and salvation are connected to Genesis (Romans 5:12–21); Sexual immorality is explained in the context of Genesis 2:24 (1 Corinthians 6:12–20); Human relationships (1 Corinthians 11:11–12; Ephesians 5:28-33); Eschatology - Last Days (1 Corinthians 15:21–22); The Apostle Paul describes a literal event in the Garden of Eden (2 Corinthians 11:3); Deception (1 Timothy 2:13–14); Abel (Hebrews 11:4; 12:24); An actual worldwide flood (2 Peter 3:5–6).

If Jesus and the New Testament writers can speak matter of fact and literally of Genesis and the creation accounts, to say that the issue is unimportant is to detract from the significance given by the Lord himself and through the Holy Spirit to the New Testament authors.

An example of misreading Genesis 1 comes from John Lennox in his book, Seven Days that Divide the World.
refers to poetry (Ps 93:1) as if to prose and treats historical narrative as if poetry. The issue is not whether Genesis is written as history because that is settled, it's whether we are prepared to accept it as such.

Lennox tries to separate the first couple of verses of Genesis 1 from the rest in an attempt to make room for billions of years  so producing a modified Gap Theory. This is totally unwarranted and an example of eisegesis! Genesis 1:1 is the opening sentence with verse 2 as the explanatory parenthesis (using the waw disjunctive) to begin the qualifying statement: God made the cosmos and this is what the earth was like when he started work on it. There is nothing in the Hebrew of these verses which suggests a time gap.
What Lennox appears to be doing in his book is reinterpreting Genesis on the basis of his world view rather than allowing faith, along with reason to dictate his thinking. Problem is, some Christians would rather compromise the Bible in the face of materialism than stand on the plain truth of the Word. Jesus endorsed a literal reading of Genesis and so did the writers of the Bible and there is no room in the text for an old age without adding ideas to it.

Jesus himself shows that the cosmos is recent in his statement in Matthew 19 about marriage and creation. He said "... Have you not read, that he who created them from the beginning, made them male and female". The Greek here is "ἀπʼ ἀρχῆς" and clearly refers to Genesis 1:1 which reads in the Greek translation (LXX) "Ἐν ἀρχῇ". It's also interesting that the Peshitta, an early Syriac Aramaic translation reads ܒܪܫܝܬ (bereshiyt) which is the same as found in the Hebrew of Genesis 1:1 בְּרֵאשִׁית” (bereshiyt)

There is nothing in science which contradicts Scripture once the human invention called evolution is put aside as the alternative faith that it is. Then trying to accommodate with a mix of long ages and special creation is no longer necessary.