The two most helpful observations Mr. Mehta had were that in some churches there was a sense of elitism – a country club mentality of I’m in & you’re out. The other was more opportunity for dialogue with opposing viewpoints. I don’t know that the Sunday service is the right venue for that, but I think it important for people of differing beliefs to have a platform to converse and see the other side.
Austin Atheist also talks about why he enjoyed the book even if he’s not always a “friendly atheist.” He tells this story:
And speaking of first impressions, Hemant has suggested elsewhere that his book could serve as a good way to break the ice, especially if you’re an atheist. It’s already worked once for me, so I’m inclined to agree. Just the other day I was visiting a friend when a mutual acquaintance of ours happened to stop by. He asked what I was reading. The title interested him, so I offered to let him read the back cover. Once finished, he asked “So, what about you? Are you an atheist?”“Yes,” I replied, “I am an atheist.”
Judging from his reaction, my being an atheist wasn’t that big of a deal, at least not to him. Whether or not he considers himself a Christian, I’m not really sure. But that’s not the point. The point is we were having a conversation, and a civilized one at that. He wanted to get to know me better, and maybe tell me more about what he either does or does not believe some other time. Now that I’m through reading it, maybe I’ll pass my copy along to him. That way he can get to know Hemant a little better, too.
As always, you can read more thoughts about the book on the review page.
[tags]atheist, atheism, I Sold My Soul on eBay, Christian, eBay Atheist, Chris Fann, The Preface, Austin Atheist[/tags]