- Paperback: 192 pages
- Publisher: Kingsway Publications (4 Aug. 2000)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0854768890
- ISBN-13: 978-0854768899
- Product Dimensions: 19.6 x 12.7 x 1.5 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,761,686 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Letters from a Skeptic Paperback – 4 Aug 2000
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For Edward Boyd, a strong-willed, highly intelligent and stubborn 70-year-old, his agnosticism rested "not ... too much on any positive position, but rather on a host of negative ones" about Christianity. In an attempt to address these negative issues, his son Greg, a professor of theology, asked his father to enter into a correspondence in which "all of their cards would be laid on the table". Greg would give his father the opportunity to raise all his objections to the veracity of Christianity while Greg would "answer these objections as well as give positive grounds for holding to the Christian faith". Three years and over 30 letters later, Letters From a Skeptic was published and Edward Boyd came to accept Christ after hashing through such topics as "Why is the world so full of suffering?" "Why would an all-powerful God need prayer?" "How can you believe in someone who rose from the dead?" and "How can another man's death pardon me?" Despite their brutal honesty, both men exhibit respect and love towards one another while addressing these volatile subjects. In Edward's second response to Greg, he boldly says, "Well, your distinction between the 'Christian Church' and 'Christians' is interesting and novel, but frankly, I don't buy it". Greg responds saying, "I've got to admit that you are raising some extremely good points in your letters. You are raising the most difficult questions a theist can face". --Jill Heatherly
Top Customer Reviews
For the reviewers who claim Dr. Boyd is a heretic- I suspect these people are the types of "good Christians" who only make "potential Christians" tuck tail between their legs and run a mile away, away from a Christian belief system. This is a real shame. Dr. Boyd however, presents God and issues pertaining to God and Christ in such a way where one wouldn't want to run, instead one would want to delve in to deeper discussion.
I highly recommend this book. I am not by any means devout in my beliefs, but this book has certainly cleared up issues for me and has opened my heart even further. And a heretic could not do that.
With a barrage of the hardest questions about this world and God a Christian could ever face, Boyd senior lets loose. With no stone unturned he challenges his son to the furthest reaches of his faith.
But with great patience and love Gregory answers all his fathers' questions in a rational and concise manner that almost anyone could understand. His arguments do occasionally get philosophical, but remain approachable by even the less literate.
Over time we see a man who was once "intensely skeptical" soften to his son's arguments..."this obviously is no `blind leap of faith' you've been making...I must admit you stand on some pretty solid ground."
More than three years and thirty letters later Edward Boyd admits to his son; "...I've still got a number of questions, and I'm sure we'll continue to hash these out. But my disposition has completely changed. I'm asking them no longer as a skeptic, but as a believer. You don't need to end your letters `with hope' any longer."
By publishing the correspondence of their journey together, this father and son duo give the reader not just a glimpse of their hearts, but lay bare all their doubts, fears and convictions.
The raw honesty of a doubtful aging father combined with the exhaustive and persistent arguments of a loving son can and will appeal to any one.Read more ›
If you are a thinking person and have questions about the Christian faith, this is the book for you. Whilst remaining accessible and easy-to-read, the quality of theology is high along with the quality of inspiration. Much better than most of the unsatisfying pap that gets published as tracts to help people "get saved." This book answers genuine questions that rightly concern people thinking about the Christian faith.
One comment on the theology itself. Boyd is not a fundamentalist, but he is an evangelical. I personally disagree with his presentation of substitutionary atonement (Why did Jesus die?) and his views on hell. However, as Boyd himself points out to his father, these are but details in the scheme of salvation.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Dives deeply into the theological/philosophical arguments in a very approachable way. Very helpful to enquirers and to committed Christians seeking a rational basis for some... Read morePublished 12 months ago by gnomen
A great book, it spoke to me about family relationships and gave me hope that some of my loved ones who have no faith may be waiting for me to explain my relationship with God.Published 13 months ago by J. Oughton
Have just gone through this again after approximately 15 years of my husband coming to faith. He had lots of questions that I couldn't answer, because like new birth it can be... Read morePublished on 21 July 2014 by rosebud wainwright
I find my own experience and struggles reflected here. Challenging questions and worldly realities are faced head on and Greg eloquently and persuasively puts across his... Read morePublished on 13 Feb. 2014 by Richardson
One of the most touching and inspiring books I have ever read! Changed my perspective on a few matters. The epilogue brought me to tears.. Read morePublished on 3 Feb. 2014 by Demi