Letters from a Skeptic: A Son Wrestles With His Father's Questions About Christianity

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Press: Oasis Audio; Unabridged edition (June 1, 2008)
Author Name:Boyd, Gregory A.; Boyd, Edward K.; Authors


Greg Boyd longed for his father to know Christ. 
But as a former atheist turned believer, Greg understood Ed Boyd's reservations.
So he offered a unique invitation: His father could write Greg with any questions on Christianity, and he would in turn deliver a thoughtful response.
What began as an intimate correspondence between father and son soon captivated seekers everywhere.
Letters from a Skeptic presents a profound defense of the Christian faith.
Throughout, listeners will discover a conversation that not only brought Ed Boyd to Christ, but impacted thousands of lives around the world.


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Comment List (Total:15)

  •     This book really hits home on any areas of Christianity where you may have doubts. The author does a great job addressing God, Christ and faith in general.
  •     I absolutely love this book. As a man who has grown up "in the church", having been taught the truths of the Bible from a young age and yet never really letting those truths sink into the core of my beliefs, my skeptical nature has always been on high alert for any hypocrisy in God's family, especially those of the western American church. Most of all, I felt a strong sense of rejection by the church for any skepticism I have or even may have. Greg Boyd in many of his books, and especially in this book through his gentle and loving correspondence with his own father, addresses so many of my own doubts about God, true Christianity, and my own skeptical thoughts; issues that I have been afraid to face in the Christian culture in our modern time. Reading through this in the privacy of my own home allowed me to personally wrestle with the scary inconsistencies in my own life and beliefs without fearing utter rejection and abandonment. Thanks to Greg, and especially his father for having such amazing honesty and openness about his true feelings about God, I no longer fear the rejections from this world that are inevitable in the life of a true follower of Christ. I keep copies of this book just to be able to give to people who God puts in my life, people who may be desperate for the opportunity, and courageous enough, to wrestle with their own true beliefs that govern all of their life's decisions.
  •     This is an amazing book with so many questions many people have. I really felt like I was sitting in the room while dad and son had a very meaningful conversation.
  •     Excellent!
  •     Thought provoking, a good read. Worth the purchase and the time to find answers to some common questions people have about faith.
  •     This is a great book written from the perspective of a leading theologian to his aging father. His father honestly asks questions concerning the Christian faith and Gregg responds...
  •     I can forgive the father but not the son since the prof./rev. should know better. It appears the father learned his (Catholic) Christianity as a child/youth; his questions are...
  •     An OK book.
  •     I loved this book. As a "Christian" who was a "backslider" for a number of years and recently (5 years ago) discovered a true faith, I find I am hungry for any and all books which help me to understand what and Who I have been missing. I rejoiced with the son who helped his father find Jesus and I had tears several times for the father who struggled so hard not to believe. I wanted to shout Amen and Hallelujah a few times as well. I have purchased additional copies of this book to share with a few friends and family who came to mind while I was reading and even though I originally purchased this as an ebook I also bought a hard copy for myself as I want a book to refer to when I find myself with a question. Thank you, Dr. Boyd, for sharing this very personal correspondence. I am in your debt.
  •     If you have questions about Jesus Christ and have ever doubted - this is a great book to help you! I have been a Christian most of my life and this book helped me know how to...
  •     A great book that I am giving to my sons to read. They are used to reading web pages, so the short chapters is very friendly to the new generation.
  •     Yes this is a book for skeptics, but also a book for believers. Greg gives insightful answers that believers can use in witnessing to others. In answering his 77 year old dad's questions, he leads him on an incredible journey to faith and demonstrates that it's never too late for God to claim a soul for his own. This book will inspire you to witness with hope.
  •     As this review will bear out I have mixed feeling about this book. I do not hold to any form of Open Theism/Flexible Sovereignty and I honestly have a hard time seeing it as a faithful interpretation of Scripture and within the evangelical stream of orthodox belief.DISAGREEMENTS:My biggest problem with the book is Boyd's view of God, namely his view of God's omniscience. Boyd does not hide the fact that for him God's omniscience is limited to only what has happened because out of love God has given man free will to make choices. Therefore, if man has free will God cannot out of love predetermine his choices (though He can for some in order to bring about certain predetermined events)and so God does not know mans choices until they are made. God cannot know the future because it has not happened yet because it is contingent upon mans free undetermined choices. God takes a risk in this and He limits Himself giving man some of His power in that we control the future with our choices.What frustrates me is that Boyd constructs a merely philosophical argument for his view of God's omniscience and man's free will but does not (and cannot in my opinion) make any reference to how Scripture bears this out. Granted, Boyd tries to avoid Scripture as much as possible in the book as he evangelizes his father out of his for his father's wishes not to have the Bible jammed down his throat (though he does reference it occasionally).As already discussed, tied to this open view of God's omniscience is Boyd's view of man's free will. Though he does not come out and say it directly, I have a hard time distinguishing between his view of mans will and the Pelagian view. I think there is a difference between the two but is very had to detect. Scripture does not give us any indication or implication that mans will is so free that his choices are unknowable in the sense that God cannot say to know what man will do. I think Boyd is trying to fight against the idea that if God knows the future choices of man they are therefore already determined in the mind of God, cannot be otherwise and therefore cannot be truly free. I think Boyd misunderstands some of this Calvinistic belief and cannot separate the difference between God's existence outside of time and the knowledge that comes with being able to see all of time simultaneously with man existing in time only being able to see things moment by moment. In the effort to reconcile this paradox Boyd has to greatly alter his theology of God and man.The third biggest disagreement with the views expressed in the book are some of the thoughts on hell. Boyd's view here is still considered to be evangelical, albeit on the fray. He is an inclusivist in that he believes some people can be saved even though they don't know Jesus Christ personally. So they at no point in their life make a confession of Jesus Christ as Lord as Paul the Apostle put it in Romans. What is surprising is his support for this position. Boyd argues that the OT saints like Noah, Job and Melchizedek were saved though they did not believe in Christ. But this is to confuse a number of things. First, salvation is by grace alone through faith alone in God but the content of that belief was the hope of a Messiah in the OT (looking forward to the one who is Christ) and then in the NT to the coming of the Messiah in Christ. What we see in the OT is a belief in God as He directly revealed Himself and His message (to that point in time) to people. But the belief of these people was not out of a response to something they saw of God in nature but out of a response to the direct revelation of God Himself to these people. Second, the only way for Boyd's view work in light of Christ's 1st coming is for man to respond to God as He has revealed Himself in creation. But as Romans 1-3 (specifically chapter 1) clearly states, though God has clearly revealed Himself in creation man rejects this revelation and instead worships the very creation itself through which God reveals Himself. The argument crumbles on itself. Consequently Boyd ignores this point. God as He is revealed through creation condemns man, not save him. Third, Boyd further supports this view by saying that God judges man according to his heart. Problem is, man's heart is wicked. John tells us that no man seeks after God because when the light of Christ came into the world the world rejected it and was content to stay in their darkness. The heart of man is set at enmity with God. Man does not respond to God in faith as revealed in creation but rather he rejects what He sees of God and worships the creation. Finally, this also ignores what Heb. 1:1-3 tells us, that though in the past God revealed Himself to man in various ways He has now finally revealed Himself in Christ. No more burning bushes, or balls of fire, or dreams, etc. but fully and finally in Christ to whom man must respond in faith to in order to be saved. Boyd's view overlooks the significance of God's salvific revelation in Christ for salvation.AGREEMENTSBoyd has some good apologetic arguments for the existence of God reasons for believing in Him. He relies heavily on the anthropological argument that a personal God must exist because it is the only way to account for the personal nature of man. Relating to one another in the way humans do cannot happen by accident or chance but only because a personal God created us to be that way.In response to his fathers hangups about the Gospels Boyd does a great job making a case for their reliability. He makes full use of both external and internal reasons for believing in the reliability of the Gospels. He further does a great job defending the historical account of and rationality of the resurrection of Christ upon which the gospel itself hangs.In regards to the Christian life, Boyd does a good job of showing how man cannot obey the law of God on His own which is why he needs Christ. He does a great job showing the necessity of the atonement in that it makes sense and accomplishes what it intends (though Boyd does not hold to a particular atonement view).CONCLUSION:Admittedly there was much I liked in this book though my disagreements were very strong. The format is unique and it would be cool to see it done with a more traditional orthodox view of God in the responses. What this book gives the reader is a view of what open theism looks like in action through evangelism and apologetics. For the most part I would have to say Boyd gets the gospel right though I would have much to disagree with after that. I believe Boyd is sincere in his presentation of his views but they left me wanting at many points. The books ends with Boyd telling of how his father came to faith in Jesus Christ from which the letters the book is made up from were the catalyst for that decision. As I read the last chapter of Boyd's account of his fathers conversion tears filled my eyes. Though I disagree greatly with Boyd's view of the nature of God and man I do not doubt his salvation nor his fathers and I can only say we will all see more clearly on the other side of eternity.
  •     Dr. Boyd writes well and obviously knows his stuff. My main concern was you could tell where he helped refine his fathers questions and made his father come off more astute than he probably was. The general format goes, father asks a question or outlines a concerns about Christian faith, son (Dr. Boyd) answers, and father accepts the answer with any really counterpoint or follow up questions. Not all chapters needed follow up, but for me, the biggest questions weren't answered well. This book is probably better for someone who already accepts Christian faith and is either struggling with their faith or has a general interest in Christian apologetics, rather than non-Christians looking for answers about Christianity. For me it seemed like with this book, the reader needs to have already accepted Christianity to follow the author into some of his conclusion.That being said, I learned a lot and enjoyed reading the book and would recommend it to anyone, Christian or not.
  •     A concise report of two different points of view. Facts deal with in a great convincing way. Thumbs up! Great book!!!

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