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Letters from a Skeptic
by Gregory and Edward Boyd, David C. Cook, © 2008,
254 pages, $11.80 (paperback), ISBN-13: 978-1-4347-9980-7
This book is a collection of letters written by a believing son dealing with his father's unbelief. Gregory Boyd is a graduate of Yale Divinity School and Princeton Theological Seminary. His father, Edward, was 70 years old and resented the church and especially “born again types.” Edward's wife had died, and his loss inflamed his antagonism toward God. Each section of letters deals with Edward's struggles with belief, and they are ones we all have to some degree. The first correspondence is, “Why has Christianity done so much harm?” The second is, “Why is the world so full of suffering?” The first section, with 12 exchanges between father and son, deals with God. Part two deals with Jesus Christ and part three with questions about the Bible. The last section focuses on questions about Christian life and doctrine.
This book is not a book of science. Gregory Boyd is a trained theologian, but this book is not “high brow.” The exchange is friendly, practical, logical, and useful. The author has added a study guide with each of the 29 sections with questions for group discussion. Edward's issues are the same that young people use to challenge Christianity. The arguments Gregory gives are not scientific, but philosophical and theological.
The letters confront questions such as: “Why did God create Satan?” “Why didn't God spare your mother (who died of cancer at a young age)?” “How could an all-loving God torture people in hell?” “Isn't the Christian life impossible to live?” You may not agree with all of Gregory Boyd's answers, but they did convince his father, and they may help you. We recommend this book highly to those who have philosophical or theological objections to faith.
Scripture links/references are from BibleGateway.com. Unhighlighted scriptures can be looked up at their website.