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God’s Rivals: Why Has God Allowed Different Religions?

Gerald R. McDermott (InterVarsity: Mar 2007), 192 pages.

In the providence of God, why are there other religions? Was the God of the Bible wise in allowing for them? Can they serve any purpose? Gerald R. McDermott explores teaching from the Old and New Testaments and reflections from a number of key theologians from the early church to suggest an answer to this intriguing but perplexing question. In the end McDermott provides considerable insight into the troubling clash of the world religions and offers a helpful Christian response. "Dr. McDermott has written extensively on the world religions from the orthodox Christian perspective. God’s Rivals sets forth to answer the questions of whether or not there are other gods, and more importantly Why? Past that the questions really flow, and I personally love his style of giving enough facts from the Bible and historical writings to let the reader begin to form his or her own opinion. The "continuous red thread" is a helpful concept guiding this reader through a difficult forest." ~ William A. Fintel at

Table of Contents

    • Acknowledgments     9
    • Introduction     11
    • The Scandal of Particularity: Why Has the True God Come to Only Some People at Some Times?     19
    • Not Even in Israel Have I Found Such Faith: Surprising Knowledge of God Among Bible People Outside Israel and the Church     27
    • The Lord of Hosts: The Old Testament and the Real Existence of Other Gods     43
    • Principalities and Powers: The New Testament on Other Real Supernatural Powers Besides God     67
    • Seeds of the Word: Justin Martyr on Seeds of the Word in Other Religions     85
    • Divine Pedagogy: Irenaeus Explains How God Uses the Religions     99
    • A Divine Gift to the Greeks: Clement of Alexandria and the Gentile Covenants     117
    • Diverse Destinies by Diverse Choices: Origen’s Warnings About Other Religions     133
    • What Are the Religions? And Why Are They There?: Collecting the Strands     157
    • God and the Masculine Pronoun     169
    • Author and Subject Index     175
    • Scripture Index     179