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I Sold My Soul on eBay: Viewing Faith through an Atheist's Eyes - eBook
WaterBrook Press / 2009 / ePub
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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.
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."
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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