Has God revealed himself only to the ancient Hebrews? How did Old Testament writers view the gods of surrounding nations? Can we learn more about God by studying other world religions? What did early church fathers Justin Martyr, Irenaeus, Clement of Alexandria, and Origen believe? Eye-opening answers. 192 pages, softcover. InterVarsity.
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 reflection on teaching from the Old and New Testaments and from a number of key teachers from the early church to suggest an answer to this perplexing but intriguing question. In the end McDermott provides considerable insight into the troubling clash of world religions and offers a helpful Christian response.
Gerald R. McDermott (Ph.D., University of Iowa) is professor of religion and philosophy at Roanoke College in Salem, Virginia. He is also a Teaching Pastor at St. John Lutheran Church. His other books include , , , , , , , and
"Gerald McDermott's God's Rivals makes a substantive contribution toward a Christian theology of religions. His appeal to the patristic use of the New Testament's category of 'powers and principalities' is exemplary retrieval from our own tradition to address a contemporary issue. The result is a proposal that guards Christ's primacy while it espouses charity and sensitivity. I commend the book both for classes and for scholars in the field."
" God's Rivals brings vividly to life religions and divine providence at work in our world, as explored and debated in the Bible and early church. McDermott compellingly brings home to us the importance of taking gods and goddesses very seriously; we are engaged in a continuing drama of divine action in our midst, and must be on watch to avoid reducing it to vague concepts and placid words. Whether we agree or not with McDermott's conclusions on today's religions, we must be grateful to him for reminding us so clearly what is at stake."
"While in recent years the theology of religions has risen to the center of theological reflection and there is a steady flow of publications on various aspects of the topic, McDermott is writing about an issue so crucial that it can be easily missed, namely, Why has God allowed religions? This is the first major work on the topic essential to all interested in the relation of Christian faith to other faiths. Building on a careful scrutiny of biblical and some patristic sources, McDermott has produced an intriguing book meant not only for specialists but for everyone wanting to know more about religion's role in a Christian perspective."
" God's Rivals continues Gerry McDermott's fascinating exploration of the theology of religions in his characteristic style: erudition without ostentation, courage balanced with prudence, and faithfulness to tradition tethering an eagerness to explore. This is a significant book that will alter the conversation."
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