Atheism, Doubts, Faith, and Dads
I began listening to your book, Letters from a Skeptic: A Son Wrestles with His Father’s Questions about Christianity, on tape yesterday while walking in my neighborhood, and before long I was totally absorbed, tears running down my face, as I recalled my life with my own father.
You see, my father, was an avowed atheist for as long as I can remember. He accepted Jesus as his savior one month before he died, February third of this year.
I felt an overwhelming desire to write to you while listening to this book because it touched my heart so profoundly, but in truth I have had many imaginary conversations with you since I first read your interview with Lee Strobel in The Case for Christ, one month ago. Since then, I have read Benefit of the Doubt: Breaking the Idol of Certainty, and I have to tell you that I feel like that book changed my life.
I have always been a guilty doubter, perhaps because of my father’s atheism, or because of my inherent inquisitive nature( I am a medical doctor). I always felt that it was wrong to doubt, but I just couldn’t help it. I realized, by reading your book, that Jesus gives me permission to doubt, and what an epiphany! I felt such an amazing relief, that when I read your analogy of the non- doubter’s interpretation of Matthew 21:22, where people might choose a Mercedes instead of asking for peace in the Middle East, – I just burst out loud with laughter.
This whole concept of allowing myself to be able to doubt without risk of damnation is so new to me that I have to keep reminding myself that it’s OK. But the funny thing is- and what I never would have expected, is that allowing myself the freedom to doubt is making my faith so much stronger, and my relationship with God so much more real – and good.
I wish that I would have discovered your books before my dad died so that we could have discussed them. Like I imagine your dad, mine was an intellectual, who loved nothing more than a good exchange of ideas with his children, who loved him so much. I look forward to the talks we will have in heaven.
Thank you so much, Dr. Boyd, for opening my eyes to a concept that has made my faith, and my relationship with Jesus, crucified, so much better. I feel such a Christian love for you- that must be odd, knowing that people you have never met love you- but I truly do, and feel so grateful for everything you do.
Thank you and God bless you,