Now, I suppose Dawkins could be accused of being too ready to place some of the more lurid moments from Genesis – the worldwide flood, the razing of Sodom and Gomorrah – at the center of Christian theology. And yet he is well within his rights to do so. For hundreds of years the Old Testament was the sine qua non of Christian apologetics. The desert fathers, the medieval scholastics, and the Reformation theologians were absolutely obsessed with finding intimations of Jesus in Hebrew scripture – as well they should have been. Unless one reads Adam’s lapse from grace, the rainbow covenant, and other such episodes as actual events, no less historical than the Battle of Hastings, the very idea of an Incarnate Redeemer arriving in the fullness of time becomes incoherent – a capricious act by a fickle Creator. Only at our peril do we forget that today’s “fundamentalists” were yesterday’s respected Christian intellectuals.
Anyway, do yourself a favor and read Dawkins’s piece. And then, if you can stomach it, read the Book of Genesis – which I have recently taken to calling the Book of Genocide.