The Letter from a Skeptic – Failures of the Author in Detailing His Ideas
Letters have been a mode of communication for Christians to spread the gospel. In the bible, most of the books found in the New Testament are written in the form of letters. In the year 1994, Greg Boyd highlighted a number of letters between his own father and him. Boyd’s father lost faith and gave up on the church after the death of his wife. He was left to raise his kids as a single parent. Over some time, the bitterness, the rage, and the uncertainty had reached a point that when the story begins, he does not know what he considers as truth; while he is quite convinced about the ideologies that he does not profess. The paper analyses failures of the author in detailing his ideas.
Failures of the author in detailing his ideas
The book letters from a skeptic by Dr. Gregory comes from a collection of letters between Christian writer and a skeptic father. The author, an Apologetic’s tutor at a Christian institution of higher education and the mail he wrote to his father was an attempt to place his apologetic into practice. A Christian going through the book finds it had to understand some ideologies the author presents to his dad. This is because he uses science as his basis to reason with his father instead of faith. The author and the father starts two years of mailing each other regarding the challenges that the unbeliever faces when one chooses to accept Christ as one savior and Lord.
The author compiles the mails and classifies them according to the different topics they discuss. Issues are tackled individually from historical, philosophical and the scripture aspect. Although, the answers are precise they seem unintelligible. The two major concerns about the book are lack of documentation as the author provides no references for the scripture in the book. The direct quotes from an English translation or paraphrases are not accounted for by the writer. It is imperative for the novelist to consider that during the printing of the 4th edition of the book.
The book does not provide room for studying it further. It is vital for the author to direct the reader so as to help in discovery of supplementary resources that discuss the ideas outlined in the book. The additional set of open questions touching on every topic is not helpful when it comes to helping the reader to process the ideas. There is no clear guidance on understanding of the themes discussed or scriptures to sustain those ideas in the book. Additional references and suggestions for supplementary resources would make the book on apologetics great. In a classroom situation, the missing aspects can be offered by the tutor, but it becomes a challenge when reading of the book takes place without the presence of a qualified teacher. The book is not a structured apologetic work, as it focuses inadequately on scientific evidence, but only on queries linked to the rationality of Christianity. Some opinion highlighted in the book is insignificant and deviate from universal Christian values.
Despite the flaws, it serves as a brilliant instrument for evangelism. The book is divided into four segments, queries about God, Christian teachings, the son of God and the holy bible. The questions are common like the reason why pain exists, will all non Christians burn in hell, how does one prove that he has the right scriptures, and why was Satan created. These queries are found are the most asked but the author offers a diverse approach when answering the questions. He is precise, writes well, and has a wonderful spirit. Although, not all of the answers will please all people, it is a nice book with much useful information.
Individually, it is difficult to persuade skeptics of Jesus the devotion one has in deliverance and inheritance it offers. In the book, of Mathew 7:6 as quoted in the book, it says dogs should not be offered something holy. Consequently; one should not discard ones pearls to the pigs because they can easily step on them and attack one (Montaigne and Donald 234). The significance disparity that the writer does is to have a relationship with his father than give up on him. The relationship between them would be strained rendering the communication insignificant.
Individually if, a person reads the book with a view of converting skeptic’s individuals, the basic thing is to appreciate them first. Do not quarrel them and be tolerant. In the book, the author’s father changed his ideology after 3 years of exchanging mails. This does not indicate that the author beliefs were based on scientific reasoning that a supreme being exists, but used this approach to understand his father and not an alternative for him. The author clearly states that the author’s father finally converts and subscribe to a faith. This outlines the purpose it serves in other people lives and hopes it will help others who get to read the book.
Montaigne, Michel de, and Donald Murdoch Frame. The complete works: essays, travel journal, letters. New York: A.A. Knopf, 2003. Print.