Letters from a Skeptic: A Son Wrestles with His Father’s Questions about Christianity
Authors: Gregory A. Boyd and Edward K. Boyd
Publisher (CD): Oasis Audio (June 1, 2008)
Topic: Apologetics: Why should anyone be a Christian and how can you respond to objections against Christianity?
When Greg Boyd became a Christian, his father, Ed, thought he had joined a cult. For fourteen years, Greg tried to talk to his agnostic father about Christianity, with little success. Then, in what he saw as a last ditch effort, Greg invited his father to participate in a dialogue through letters in which Ed could express all his doubts and questions and Greg could attempt to answer them and prove the validity of his own views. To Greg’s surprise his father agreed. This book is the collection of those letters.
Detailed Description: The best selling book, Letter from a Skeptic is now in Audio CD format. (All description information below applies to the hardcover and softcover versions).
When Greg Boyd became a Christian, his father, Ed, thought he had joined a cult. For fourteen years, Greg tried to talk to his agnostic father about Christianity, with little success. Then, in what he saw as a last ditch effort, Greg invited his father to participate in a dialogue through letters in which Ed could express all his doubts and questions and Greg could attempt to answer them and prove the validity of his own views. To Greg’s surprise, his father agreed. This book is the collection of those letters.
This Gold Medallion Award winning and best selling book has become a classic. Letters From A Skeptic has been translated into many languages (see below) and has been used to win thousands to Christ. The book has proven especially useful as a gift to skeptically minded family members and to unbelieving friends. It’s a great resource for believers interested in apologetics and evangelism and has been effectively used in classroom settings to stimulate discussion.
Honest, thought-stimulating, intelligent and well-written. A good addition to any library. In Letters From A Skeptic, Greg and Ed “debate” many objections to Christianity, the church, and the Bible, including the following:
- Why is the world so full of suffering?
- Does God know the future?
- How can you believe that a man rose from the dead?
- Why do you think the Bible is inspired?
- Do all non-Christians go to hell?
Greg’s story behind the writing of Letters From a Skeptic?: The idea of trying to evangelize my father through letters first came to me as I was sitting in my office at Bethel College preparing for a public debate with a Muslim on the deity of Christ and the Trinity. I was finding myself impressed with the strength of the arguments supporting the Christian faith when I suddenly began grieving over the fact that I’d never had a chance to share this material with my agnostic/atheist father. Whenever I had tried to bring up the topic of faith it had quickly turned into an angry shouting match. But, I thought, what would happened if we exchanged letters instead of engaging in face-to-face dialogue? It seemed like a long shot, but I had nothing to lose. So I shot off a letter to him.
And the rest is history.
Engaging in this correspondence with my father was one of the most rewarding things I’ve ever done. For one thing, I was overwhelmed by the change my father underwent when he came to Christ. He was 73 at the time, and I honestly didn’t expect a lot of transformation (oh me of little faith!). My dad had always been something of a curmudgeon. He was cynical and complained all the time. If anything was wrong with him, the world knew it. This aspect of his personality was completely transformed once he accepted Christ. He became something I’d never dream he’d become: a person filled with gratitude!
In the 10 years after his conversion, my father became nearly blind, nearly deaf, had trouble talking (because of a stroke) and was wheel chair bound. Yet he rarely complained. Just before his death I and my siblings were visiting him. At one point he began to sob. I asked him (shouting into his nearly deaf ear) why he was crying. His response was (and I quote): “I’m just so damned thankful for all God’s done for me.”
Folks, that is a miraculous transformation!
It’s also been tremendously rewarding to see God use Letters From a Skeptic to reach others for Christ. I have over the years received thousands of e-mails, letters and phone calls from people who came to faith through this correspondence. Some of their stories are overwhelmingly beautiful. One of my dad’s favorites was a letter we received from a woman who was imprisoned for killing her baby. Somehow she got a hold of Letters in prison and it resulted in her committing her life to Christ. She told us that, even though it seemed her earthly life was pretty much over, she felt like her life was actually just beginning. And, she added, “I now know I’ll someday see my precious baby again, and she’ll forgive me.”
What greater honor could anyone have than to be used by God to create a story like this?
My prayer — and it was the prayer of my father before he passed — is that God will continue to use our little correspondence to bring skeptically minded people like my father into his beautiful kingdom.