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

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Greg Boyd and his father, Ed, were on opposite sides of a great divide. Greg was a newfound Christian, while his father was a longtime agnostic. So Greg offered his father an invitation: Ed could write with any questions on Christianity, and his son would offer a response.

Letters from a Skeptic contains this special correspondence. The letters tackle some of today’s toughest challenges facing Christianity. Each response offers insights into the big questions, while delivering intelligent answers that connect with both the heart and mind. Whether you’re a skeptic, a believer, or just unsure, these letters can provide a practical, common-sense guide to the Christian faith.

The Logos Bible Software edition of Letters from a Skeptic is designed to encourage and stimulate your study and understanding the Christian faith. Scripture passages link directly to your English translations and to the original language texts, and important apologetic concepts link to dictionaries, encyclopedias, and a wealth of other resources in your digital library. In addition, you can perform powerful searches by topic and find what other authors, scholars, and theologians have to say about Christianity.

Resource Experts
  • Presents a skeptic’s questions about the Christian faith
  • Addresses contemporary challenges facing Christianity
  • Answers numerous questions on God, Jesus, the Bible, and Christian life and doctrine
  • Part I: Questions about God
    • Correspondence 1: Why Has Christianity Done So Much Harm?
    • Correspondence 2: Why Is the World So Full of Suffering?
    • Correspondence 3: Is the Risk of Freedom Worth All the Suffering?
    • Correspondence 4: Does God Know the Future?
    • Correspondence 5: Why Does God Create Earthquakes and Famines?
    • Correspondence 6: Why Did God Create Satan?
    • Correspondence 7: Is Your God All-Powerful?
    • Correspondence 8: Why Believe in God in the First Place?
    • Correspondence 9: Couldn’t It All Be by Chance?
    • Correspondence 10: Why Didn’t God Spare Your Mother?
    • Correspondence 11: Why Would an All-Powerful God Need Prayer?
    • Correspondence 12: Why Would God Care about Us Little Humans?
  • Part II: Questions about Jesus Christ
    • Correspondence 13: Why Trust the Gospel Accounts?
    • Correspondence 14: Aren’t the Gospels Full of Contradictions?
    • Correspondence 15: Who wrote the Gospels and When Were They Written?
    • Correspondence 16: How Can You Believe That a Man Rose from the Dead?
    • Correspondence 17: How Can You Believe That a Man Was God?
  • Part III: Questions about the Bible
    • Correspondence 18: Why Does God Make Believing in Him So Difficult?
    • Correspondence 19: Why Do You Think the Bible Is Inspired?
    • Correspondence 20: Isn’t the Bible Full of Myths and God’s Vengeance?
    • Correspondence 21: Didn’t the Catholic Church Put the Bible Together?
    • Correspondence 22: Why Are There So Many Differing Interpretations of the Bible?
    • Correspondence 23: What about the “Holy Books” of Other Religions?
  • Part IV: Questions about Christian Life and Doctrine
    • Correspondence 24: Do All Non-Christians Go to Hell?
    • Correspondence 25: How Could an All-Loving God Torture People in an Eternal Hell?
    • Correspondence 26: Isn’t the Christian Life Impossible to Live?
    • Correspondence 27: How Can Another Man’s Death Pardon Me?
    • Correspondence 28: How Can I Be Holy and Sinful at the Same Time?
    • Correspondence 29: How Can I Be Sure It’s All True?

Top Highlights

“But the ‘religion’ of Christianity, the ‘institution’ of the church, is not itself Christian. Only people, not institutions, can be Christian.” (Page 26)

“A third point is this: If hell is, in fact, eternally locked (and I believe it is), then it is so ‘from the inside’ (C. S. Lewis again). Again, it is not the will of God which keeps sinners in hell, but the will of sinners.” (Pages 198–199)

“But with the creation of free creatures, I maintain, God necessarily surrendered a degree of His power. Or perhaps it is better to say God delegated some of His power. Our freedom is a little piece of ‘controlling power’ lent us by God. In order to allow creatures to be free, then, God voluntarily gives us a portion of His power, and thereby surrenders His opportunity to ‘always get His way.’” (Page 57)

“To refuse to create a world where love was possible because the risk was too great seems to be beneath God. Love is really the only reason worth creating! It’s not freedom for the sake of freedom that God values—it’s love. Freedom is simply the only possible means to this end.” (Page 34)

“We tend to become the decisions we make. The more we choose something, the more we become that something. We are all in the process of solidifying our identities by the decisions we make. With each decision we make, we pick up momentum in the direction of that decision.” (Page 51)

Greg Boyd’s Letters from a Skeptic has made a huge and positive impact on thousands of readers. A generation of new readers will delight in its rerelease. The correspondence between Greg and his father makes fascinating reading. But best of all, Greg’s answers to his father’s tough questions about Christianity are the most sensible, biblical, and reasonable I have ever read. If I could make this book required reading for all young people in America, I would do it. The result would be a new perception of Christianity as an intellectually satisfying set of answers to life’s ultimate questions.

Roger E. Olson, professor of theology, George W. Truett Theological Seminary, Baylor University

The rerelease of Boyd’s Letters from a Skeptic is a welcomed event, especially in light of the recent barrage of atheistic attacks on the faith. This delightful little book is profound, well researched, readable, and interesting. Get one for yourself and one for a skeptic you know.

J. P. Moreland, distinguished professor of philosophy, Biola University

Letters from a Skeptic is simply the best book of its kind. No other book introduces the reader to as many important apologetic issues in as readable a format. Moreover, the loving yet honest way in which Greg Boyd answers his father’s questions should be a model for all would-be apologists. Buy it, read it, and then give it away to somebody who has questions about the Christian faith.

Jim Beilby, professor of theology and apologetics, Bethel University

Real life is the best teacher, and it’s the source of the wisdom packed in this book. Greg Boyd discovered the deep wisdom of faith in Christ through his own personal quest. And he lovingly shared that wisdom with his father, Edward Boyd, through respectful dialogue. If you’re on your own spiritual quest or engaged in dialogue about life’s greatest questions, this is the book for you. There’s no book I recommend more.

—David K. Clark, professor of theology, Bethel Seminary

  • Title: Letters from a Skeptic: A Son Wrestles with His Father’s Questions about Christianity
  • Authors: Gregory A. Boyd and Edward K. Boyd
  • Publisher: David C. Cook
  • Publication Date: 2008
  • Pages: 254

Gregory A. Boyd has authored or coauthored 17 books and numerous academic articles. He graduated with honors from Yale Divinity School and Princeton Theological Seminary and was a professor of theology at Bethel University for 16 years. Boyd continues to teach there as an adjunct professor. He is the founder and senior pastor of Woodland Hills Church, and evangelical church in St. Paul, MN.

Edward K. Boyd was happily married to Jeanne Boyd for the last 22 years of his life, and he was the father of six children, grandfather of 16, and great-grandfather of 11. Ed was a self-educated, exceptionally intelligent man who was intensely skeptical toward religion. But at the age of 74, he surrendered his life to Christ before passing away in December 2002. For the last 10 years of his life, his greatest joy was hearing stories of how God was using the letters between him and Greg to impact the lives of others.


3 ratings

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  1. Guy Smith

    Guy Smith


  2. Michael Stubblefield
  3. Floyd  Johnson

    Floyd Johnson


    Boyd’s father had given up on the church and faith years ago - perhaps it was a position that was cemented when his wife died, leaving him to raise his children as a single parent. Over the years, the resentment, the anger, and the confusion had grown -,he is not certain about what he does believe; though he feel fairly certain about what he does not believe. Dr. Boyd and his father begin a two years correspondence concerning the major issues the unbeliever has when he or she considers Christ as Lord and Savior. I have two concerns about a book of this caliber that is now entering its 4th edition. The first is the lack of documentation. Whether it be scripture or third party sources - no references are given. The second concern is that a book that is entering it 4th edition provides no path for further study. No discussion questions are provided, no suggestions for further reading. This review is based on a copy provided by the publisher; the opinions are my own.


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