Customer Reviews for

Letters from a Skeptic: A Son Wrestles with His Father's Questions about Christianity

Average Rating 4.5
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  • Posted November 16, 2009

    Great Discussion Catalyst!

    "Letters From A Skeptic" is not for those who are totally unfamiliar with Christianity. It addresses issues raised by people who have at least some konowledge of its teachings but have found certain tenets to be stumbling blocks to full acceptance. However, the book is not only for those who have "dropped out" of Christianity--or perhaps never matured in their faith. Dr. Boyd deals clearly and honestly with questions that even long-time Christians have wondered about at some time or other, and may have been afraid or embarrassed to ask. His loving, encouraging style of addressing his father's objections also constitutes an excellent example for those who want to dialog effectively with skeptics.

    My adult Sunday School class is working its way through the book, and I am continualy amazed at the spontaneous, total participation of every individual in every class session! Many have taken copies of the book for family members and friends as well.

    Easy to read but not simplistic. Well worth reading--more than once.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 16, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Answers To Some Difficult Questions

    This is an unusual book because it is all letters back and forth between a father and son. The son is a professor of theology and an ordained evangelical minister. The father was raised Catholic but with numerous questions about Christianity which the son patiently tries to answer over a period of time through correspondence. The questions fall into four major categories: Questions about God, Questions about Jesus Christ, Questions about the Bible, and Questions about Christian life and doctrine.

    Here is a sample of some of the tough questions the father and son discussed:

    Why has Christianity done so much harm?
    Why is the world so full of suffering?
    Why did God create Satan?
    Why trust the Gospel accounts?
    How can you believe that a man rose from the dead?
    Why do you think the Bible is inspired?
    What about the "holy books" of other religions?
    Why does God make believing in Him so difficult?
    Do all non-Christians go to hell?
    Isn't the Christian life impossible to live?
    How can I be sure it's all true?

    If you have questions about Christianity or know someone who does and would like to know how to answer them, I highly recommend this book.

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  • Posted April 26, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Honest Discussion

    Unlike so many apologetic books, this one is an honest, open discussion between a follower of Christ and his unbelieving father in the form of letters. It's not full of the Christian jargon (in fact early on the father calls son out on just that) or pat Christian answers. These are the questions we all wrestle with and this book helped me to understand how God could be in the midst of human messiness and, well, still be an almighty God. It's a keeper.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 27, 2010

    Thought Provoking

    I found this book to be an interesting approach to explaining basic christian beliefs. It was at the same time logical and spiritual. I would recommend it for skeptics and those who have conversations about spirituality with them.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 5, 2005

    thinking of becoming a believer now

    I am not a religious person. I am now in college and just trying to learn various religions as I did not grow up in a religious household. This book helped me understand a lot of problems I have with Christianity. It is starting to get me to think about becoming a Christian, but I still have a lot of research to do. This was a good book to start my research with as it really convinced me on a lot of topics. The one I had the most trouble with was that all Christians go to Hell. I refuse to believe this and Boyd pointed out that all people go to Heaven through Jesus Christ, but people went to Heaven before Jesus Christ exsisted. This book really helped me, and I bought a few copies as Christmas presents. I am not a person who tries to convince people to be religious as I still am not, but the book was philosophical and answered good questions.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 19, 2005

    It may not be perfect but it worked

    The first person to citique the book had some valid theologicl points but the point that most matters is that Mr. Boyd will spend eternity in Heaven with God because this process touched him. I think as Christians we sometimes focus more on our differences and translations than we celebrate salvation as the central thing we all agree about. While as a Pastor I had a few disagreements with his theology I was also able to see what this journey was about. This book is a journey of love by a son who loves and respects his father and wants to spend eternity in Heaven with him. I cannot in good conscience critisize anyones attempt to lead a lost soul to Christ and this book does just that. The book takes on the questions that every skeptic has and in most cases does it extremely well. I think too many books like this are written on an intelectual level instead of a heart level. This book takes on the heart of the subject of reaching into the God given desire that all of us have to worship and the struggles we have finding someone worthy of our worship. We all worship something and this book leads a father to the only being worthy of that worship. I give this book five stars inspite of my differences in the Theology and would recomend it in a heart beat.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 3, 2003

    Inciteful, Realistic and Powerful, yet Personal

    This book came into my life at a critical time in my walk with God. It touched on some fundamental questions I had struggled with for years. I passed it on to my father who in turn shared it with his father, a victim of a stroke and a skeptic. Several months later, I got a call that my grandfather had given his heart to Jesus Christ.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 19, 2003

    Liberal,Processist Philosophic: Errant Bible???

    5 stars for Chp.2,3,8-10,12,18,23,26-29. Especially strong in dealing with the Gospel and Christ's death/resurrection. That's enough to reach sincere seekers. But 4 stars deducted because of the other chapters which are troublesome to say the least. That's because they stem from Boyd's first book 'Trinity & Process' with its distinctively liberal,non-evangelical Process-like Philosophy applied to Jesus & the Bible. These neo-liberal presuppositions (interpretive filters) permeate the author's worldview and cast many doubts about crucial matters like Inerrant Bible, Nature & Attributes of Triune God, literal eternal conscious torment in hell, God's exhaustive definite foreknowledge of ALL free futures, how evil plays itself out in a Good God's fallen world (which God cursed in judgment). Boyd gets these critical,essential Christian doctrines almost 100% wrong,heterodox,flawed Some direct quotes that set the Holy Ghost alarm bells off, which doesn't happen with similar books by Josh McDowell, Greg Laurie, Chuck Smith, Billy Graham, Hank Hanegraaff: "When I first became a Christian..I had gotten myself involved in some sort of..cult..(later) my Christianity became more mature and less 'cultic' and narrow- minded." (Reply) "I often wondered how you could continue to believe this Christianity business inspite of the rather liberal institutions (B.A.Philosophy-U.Minn;M.Div.- Yale;Ph.D-Princeton)you've attended." "until we make them,(our decisions)don't exist.Thus in my view at least,there simply isn't anything to know until we make it there to know (Trinity&Process philosophy). So God can't foreknow..decisions of people until..they create their decisions. This isn't the traditional Christian position (which) I think is philosophically untenable (Reply) "It seems like your view of God is much more 'human' than what I've always thought God was supposed to be..I wonder if your view is just your own creation." "As far as I'm concerned, the attempt of scholars to arrive at the exact words of Jesus..is as futile as it is needless. I regard the effort of fundamentalists (evangelicals) to get everything in the Gospels to 'harmonize' perfectly (as being) in exactly the same (category)..Almost all the alleged 'contradictions' in the Gospels are the result of people misusing them, treating them like 20th century works under a 'snapshot-tape recording' criteria of truth...the 'contradictions' disappear, not because they are explained away, but because they instantly become totally irrelevant." So, Gregory Boyd, your Bible has errors and contradictions. But in your mind that's o.k. They're irrelevant. A mistaken Bible is good enough, it seems? Just these few excerpts should alert the cautious evangelical seeking a witnessing tool that this is not the one to use. Stick with Josh,Hank,Chuck,Billy,and the error-free Bible itself (what a concept!) Like stale cookies laced with questionable substances, so is this book with enough nutrition in the Gospel chapters (26-29) to feed the starving, but too much foreign objectionable matter like egg shells & bacteria mixed with novel Process-like Philosophical ingredients to be passed over for genuine, Evangelical, Kosher 'soul-food'

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 31, 2001

    This book is amazing.

    This book is easy to understand and does a great job of showing the debate between Christianity and Atheism. This is a must-read for any student.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 4, 2001

    Following Ed Boyd's Footsteps

    I began this book believing that Ed Boyd, the father and skeptic, was absolutely on target with his succinct and clear headed questions that were directed to his rather circumvent and philosophical Christian son, Greg Boyd. Every question I read from the father made me say, 'There, see what your Christian belief can say about that.' As the book progressed I found my position gradually eroding. I began to side more and more with the well thought out answers of the Christian son as opposed to the skeptical father. My own skepticism began to diminish along with the father's. I slowly traveled down the long road to a more reasoned and defensible Christianity. The trip was made along side Greg Boyd's father, both of us fighting all the way. Letters from a Skeptic omitted much of the mystical, 'you have to have faith' concepts with which many Christians are bombarded and was instead a well reasoned, thoughtful, proof-filled defense from a very intelligent Christian theologian. My heartfelt thanks to both Ed and Greg Boyd.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 29, 2000

    BEST BOOK I EVER READ!!!!

    Absolutely the best apologetics book I ever read! THis book not only strengthened my own faith, but gave me ideas about how to defend my faith! I liked this book so much that I emailed Gregory Boyd to tell him how helpful this book was for me. (I am not inclined to do such a thing!) This is also a SUPER book for the teenager or college student who is doubting their faith or 'on the fence' about becoming a Christian. Thanks Gregory for a truly inspiring literary masterpiece!! <><

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 14, 2000

    Eye-opening book

    I just finished the last page of this book not 30 minutes ago, and I must say this book has truly changed the way I look at Christianity and the world we live in. I'm just a 20 year old college kid who grew up in the Church, and I never really understood the love God has for us and how much truth there is in the Bible until I read this book. There's no way I can argue with the logical evaluations and clear interpretations of Christianity that Dr. Boyd has presented--he must be a great professor! Dr. Boyd and his father literally opened my eyes to a new and true reality with their honest and straight-forward correspondance. If you or a friend you know is wondering about God and/or Christianity, or if you're a Christian in need of something to confirm your faith, I highly recommend this book!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 23, 2000

    A Book Every Christian Should Read!!!

    This is by far the best defense and explanation of God and Christianity I have ever read. The authors dad ask questions that I hear most skeptics ask and the author does an amazing job of clearly answering his dads objections.

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    Posted July 10, 2010

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    Posted October 28, 2009

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