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Letters from a Skeptic Paperback – 4 Aug 2000

4.5 out of 5 stars 35 customer reviews

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Product details

  • 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)

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Amazon Review

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

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I've always had Christian beliefs, but I sure had a lot of questions and "why does God..." issues. I was never really interested in talking to religious people about this, because I'd most likely have received answers based more on "blind faith" than what I was truly seeking. This book answered all those questions for me without being preachy or rammed down my throat. Dr. Boyd has produced a very inspirational and thought provoking book, and if you really think about what he is saying (and he says it so simply and clearly), you develop a new perspective.
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.
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Format: Hardcover
Gregory Boyd is a professor of theology at Bethel College in St Paul, Minnesota. During the fourteen years since he became a Christian he had made several attempts to share his faith with his father, Edward, but was always met with skepticism. But in 1989, when he finally tried to initiate a written dialogue with his father, he was surprised to find him open to the subject.

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.
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Format: Hardcover
I grew up in a Christian family and a wonderful spiritfilled Church but I always had very tough questions about God, the Bible, and Christianity. It came to the point where it was clear that if reasonable answers to these questions couln't be found then beliving in the Christian God would be blind foolishness. Unfortuatly when i tried to take my questions (some of them were very angry and dificult) to my parents and church leaders i was met by two things. First was a sort of attitude that questioning things was bad, it ment i didn't have enough faith. I think that this response exists because they had a terible fear inside of them that Christianity REALY isn't true and that if any one realy examins it criticly the jig will be up. second i found that the people i was going to, although they were spirit filled saved wonderful people, wern't qualified to answer them. Dr. Boyd belives that questions are the way to truth. I now have the wonderful privilage of being blessed by him each sunday as i attend the church were he serves as one of many passionate pastors. I have since learned how he has been in the same contipalative wonderment about his faith as I have been. While everyone might not need to use there mind to discover the truth of christianity, it is one of the truth finding tools God has giving us. Dr. Boyd and his father have helped me to use mine and now i experince something so wonderful-confedence that Christianity is true, something i didn't have before. I thank God every time i think of this book and it's ministry!
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Format: Hardcover
This is an excellent book on Christian apologetics for the lay person. "Apologetics" being the way of explaining one's faith to someone who doesn't share it. The book documents the correspondence between son (professor of theology and a Christian) and father (sceptic and non-Christian). Dad manages to raise almost every objection about the Christian faith that has ever been raised whilst son answers these questions with good theology and mature faith.
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.
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