Thursday, August 16, 2007

I Sold My Soul on eBay: Viewing Faith through an Atheist's Eyes (Paperback)

I just ordered this book at Amazon. I read about it on the Rant & Reason atheist blog I follow. This is what Maggie had to say about the book in her post Equivalent to Friendly Atheist?

I feel that Hemant’s book is great for Christians looking to understand atheists better. He expresses his honest opinions with an open mind about his visits to several different churches across the country. And even though he could have used the book to convert readers to atheism or badmouth each church he visited, Hemant takes the high road and remains true to his “friendly” form.

I went to Amazon, and here is the editorial review posted there:

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.

I hope to finish my current book, The Jesus I Never Knew, this weekend. Then I've got to read Communicating for a Change (just got it in this week), and then I'd digging into this book.

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