The only apologetics that can explain rape and slavery in the bible is that God is perfect, therefore anytihng he does is perfect. This includes committing, ordering, or condoning slavery, rape, incest, eugenics, genocide etc. You can put any spin on it you want, but in the end if God did it, it is not immoral, and we should stop apologizing for it (note the difference between apologizing and apologetics).
Why water down the faith? God has never done anything wrong. I think it is terribly presumptuous of us to try to explain his actions. We should say God is perfect - end of discussion. Stringing people along with contrived explanations makes for a weak-faithed congregation.
Well, I don't need to defend or God. If he told Satan to kill Job's children or if God sent an evil spirit to torment Saul that was his choice. God's foolishness is better than man's wisdom. 1 Corinthians 1:25 God is above our questioning.
Genocide, slavery, rape...what's the problem? God said it's ok. King David had a man killed so he could take his wife. Elijah cursed a bunch of kids for making fun of his baldness and a couple bears killed them. Who are we to question God? The bible is either the inspired word of God or it isn't. Who are we to pick and choose? What's next? Are we going to put God on trial and judge him? If the bible says to have your child stoned, then that is God's will. We also just have to remember that we have to follow the laws of the land and obey authority as the authority is God given. That is why the Jews could not stone the adulterer woman because they were under Roman law. That is why they had to get Rome to kill Jesus. They believed in God's law but at that time were under Roman law.
This attitude seems right to hyper-Calvinists, Muslims, fatalistic pagans, or even atheists looking to misrepresent God; however, I will argue it is actually contrary to the Word of God using Biblical evidence. This line of reasoning could be used to defend anything, including Islam, Paganism, or even Satanism. God indeed wants you to test Him, although in a righteous way and with an honest mind. The truth is falsifiable, and unlike what many Christians claim, I assert that the Bible, in order for it to be true, is falsifiable and must withstand the test of close and honest scrutiny. A Christian believing based off nothing could just as easily abandon the faith and believe something else instead for no good reason; their faith isn't based off real truth and is actually quite shaky rather than solid, contrary to popular belief.
The truth is falsifiable because the truth makes absolute claims that are limited in scope and definition. Two contradictory claims cannot be true. For instance, "2 + 2" (when dealing with non-complex numbers at least - look up "imaginary numbers" in math if you are curious) always = "4." It cannot equal any other number, nor can it be "4" or "6" simultaneously. Therefore, the truth is absolute and if a true contradiction exists, then at least one of the claims must be a lie.
However, I also believe that many things can seem like contradictions on the surface, but are not really lies because an important exception can determine the true meaning, in addition to considering the surrounding circumstances of a particular claim. I believe this about so-called contradictions in the Bible: they are eliminated with either a reasonable exception or closely examining the surrounding context, including the tone and tenor of the Bible as a whole, to determine a complementary meaning, rather than a real contradiction between two passages.
Therefore, it is NOT a sin to scrutinize closely the claims of the Holy Bible or even to question God in certain instances. The integrity of doctrinal understanding of the both the Bible and of who is God requires it. There were instances in the Bible with those who questioned God, and they were answered favorably. For instance, Abraham and Moses were answered favorably, and even Job and Jonah were vindicated and forgiven by God.
To forbid trying to understand some basic things about God could actually undermine the faith of Christians rather than strengthen it. Also, the Bible wants Christians to know their Bibles and be able to defend their faith against the unbelievers. The ignorance of Christians today is why the world is in the state it is in today! You will not only strengthen and build your own faith in the written Word, but help convert others with open, honest minds to Christianity!
The character of God can be tested with His own Word, if He meets His own standards of Holiness! God invites others to reason with Him, knowing He will win, because He is consistent and would never lie or contradict Himself! He does NOT fear honest scrutiny or examination!
Let me provide some quotes from the Bible supporting my position:
"If I [Jesus] do not the works of my Father, believe me not."
"These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so."
1 Peter 3:15
"But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:"
2 Timothy 2:15
"Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth."
"Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool."
1 Corinthians 2:15
"But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man."
1 Thessalonians 5:21
"Prove all things; hold fast that which is good."
"It is the glory of God to conceal a thing: but the honour of kings is to search out a matter."
"O my people, what have I done unto thee? and wherein have I wearied thee? testify against me."
"Produce your cause, saith the LORD; bring forth your strong reasons, saith the King of Jacob."
"Put me in remembrance: let us plead together: declare thou, that thou mayest be justified."
"Keep silence before me, O islands; and let the people renew their strength: let them come near; then let them speak: let us come near together to judgment."
"Reasoning With God"