Nothing could be further from the truth. Christianity does not have a history of biblical literalism. Literalism has been almost entirely absent from Christianity for the vast majority of the religion's existence. It was only two hundred years ago at the advent of the modern industrial age that scriptural literalism began to appear throughout the world, in nearly every major religion. As our world has marched rapidly into an ever more modern, complex, and sometimes confusing world, more believers have begun to cling to literalism.
Literalism is a modern idea. You could even say it's a new age idea. Karen Armstrong, the most popular living historian of religion writes, "Before the modern period, Jews, Christians and Muslims all relished highly allegorical interpretations of scripture. The word of God was infinite and could not be tied down to a single interpretation. Preoccupation with literal truth is a product of the scientific revolution, when reason achieved such spectacular results that mythology was no longer regarded as a valid path to knowledge."