I Sold My Soul on eBay  -     By: Hemant Mehta
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I Sold My Soul on eBay

Random House, Inc / 2007 / Paperback

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When Hemant Mehta was a teenager he stopped believing in God, but he never lost his interest in religion. Mehta is "the eBay atheist," the nonbeliever who auctioned off the opportunity for the winning bidder to send him to church. The auction winner was Jim Henderson, a former pastor and author of Evangelism Without Additives. Since then, Mehta has visited a variety of church services, posting his insightful critiques on the Internet and spawning a positive, ongoing dialogue between atheists and believers.

I Sold My Soul on eBay tells how and why Mehta became an atheist and features his latest church critiques, including descriptions of his visits to some of the best-known churches in the country. His observations will surprise and challenge you, revealing how the church comes across to those outside the faith. Who better than a nonbeliever to offer an eye-opening assessment of how the gospel is being presented---and the elements that enhance or detract from the presentation.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 224
Vendor: Random House, Inc
Publication Date: 2007
Dimensions: 8.25 X 5.50 (inches)
ISBN: 1400073472
ISBN-13: 9781400073474
Availability: In Stock

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Publisher's Description

Unique insights from an atheist’s Sunday-morning odyssey

When Hemant Mehta was a teenager he stopped believing in God, but he never lost his interest in religion. Mehta is “the eBay atheist,” the nonbeliever who auctioned off the opportunity for the winning bidder to send him to church. The auction winner was Jim Henderson, a former pastor and author of Evangelism Without Additives. Since then, Mehta has visited a variety of church services–posting his insightful critiques on the Internet and spawning a positive, ongoing dialogue between atheists and believers.

I Sold My Soul on eBay tells how and why Mehta became an atheist and features his latest church critiques, including descriptions of his visits to some of the best-known churches in the country. His observations will surprise and challenge you, revealing how the church comes across to those outside the faith. Who better than a nonbeliever to offer an eye-opening assessment of how the gospel is being presented–and the elements that enhance or detract from the presentation.

Mehta announced prior to his churchgoing odyssey that he would watch for any signs of God’s existence. After spending Sunday mornings in some of the nation’s leading churches, what happened to the man who sold his soul on eBay? Did attending church change his lack of belief? The answers can be found inside.

Author Bio

Hemant Mehta is an honors graduate of the University of Illinois at Chicago, where he helped establish the organization Students WithOut Religious Dogma (SWORD). Mehta also is chair of the Secular Student Alliance’s board of directors. His story has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, the Chicago Sun-Times, the Seattle Times, the Village Voice, National Public Radio, and FOX News Channel, among other major news outlets. Currently, Mehta is working toward a masters degree in math education at DePaul University in Chicago.

David Crumm and ReadTheSpirit.com

This book began with a wacky stunt, when young atheist Hemant Mehta put his religious skepticism on the eBay auction block. In 2006, he invited a high bidder to send him to church.
The result was a $500 donation by the high bidder to a nonprofit of Mehta's choice and a series of visits to congregations that Mehta turned into this remarkably kind and insightful critique of our religious culture.
He's a pretty good observer of what seems to be good, ridiculous and even nonsensical to visitors in many of our churches. He even praises some aspects of congregational life in the course of the book.
Rob Bell writes the Foreward, urging Christians in particular to read this book. In his Foreward, he says: "I knew I would love talking with Hemant Mehta long before I met him. I have much in common with atheists. What I find time and again is that the god they've rejected is a god I've rejected."

Publisher's Weekly

Mehta, an atheist, once held an unusual auction on eBay: the highest bidder could send Mehta to a church of his or her choice. The winner, who paid $504, asked Mehta to attend numerous churches, and this book comprises Mehta's responses to 15 worshipping communities, including such prominent megachurches as Houston's Second Baptist, Ted Haggard's New Life Church in Colorado Springs, Colo., and Willow Creek in suburban Chicago. (Mehta ranks Willow Creek as the church most likely to draw him back.) Mehta, who grew up Jain, offers some autobiographical context, then discusses nonreligious people's approach to topics such as death and suffering. But all that is just a preamble to Mehta's sketches of the churches he attended. He doesn't find much community in churches; families sit far apart from other families, and people race "out the front doors to their cars" as soon as the service ends. Churches earn high marks for Mehta when they offer great speakers and focus on community outreach, but they also do many things wrong, including singing repetitive songs and alienating non-Christians by ubiquitously proclaiming them to be "lost." Mehta's musings will interest Christians who seek to proselytize others and who want to identify their evangelistic mistakes. Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.

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