The SAB has a severe problem. It presents an argument against Biblical literalism, but represents that as an argument against some or all of God, Jesus, Christianity or any other Abrahamic religion, or the Bible as a phenomenon. Let me reiterate: Not all Christians are fundamentalists. We know the Bible isn't perfect, or an oracle, or the verbatim word of God. Stop trying to tear it up. Those atheists who are forever citing the Bible are but half an inch from the fundamentalists they profess to loathe. I am sick and tired of hearing 'It says somewhere in the Bible, I forget where, that eating babies is OK'. Firstly, it rests with the claimant to prove this. Secondly, even if it did say so, I would not be obliged to do so, nor to reject my faith.

Shokwave: Lot is hardly a good guy. As for the other, I fail to see what this has to do with the idea of a loving God that Jesus preached. The rhetoric in Hosea is the rhetoric of ancient war. If I really thought that God had said that, I'd go and kill myself right now. Believing in, rather than studying, the Bible, leads to trouble.

Lagrange: You nicely highlight the challenge of modern theology. Yes, there is a dichotomy between the Old and New Testaments. It's not complete: the God of the Old Testament has some of the qualities of that of the New, plus some positive ones, like a feminine side, that that NT doesn't provide. (See God is a She.) But to a student of ancient religions, it's clear that in both testaments, the views of other peoples on religion are intermingled with what we now consider the key theological ideas. God is historically something akin to the Babylonian El, but in places, the rhetoric is more that of Baal. And the devil has got his own PR - see Paradise Lost, not to mention a variety of early texts. Besides which, Satan's role appears different in different places: see Job.