Life Today, Part 1

Last month, Jim Henderson and I taped an interview with a Christian television program, Life Today, talking about our new books. Today, Part 1 (focusing on I Sold My Soul on eBay) is airing across the country. Tomorrow, Part 2 (focusing on Jim’s book, Evangelism Without Additives) will air. If you’d like to check it out on TV, a station guide can be found here.

Better yet, watch the episode online! Once the episode is available for downloading, I’ll update this posting with the link.

(At the moment, our episode is at the top of the page and labeled as “Jim Henderson”… you can watch the episode in QuickTime or Flash. If Jim’s picture is not at the top of the page, just go to the 2007 archives and look under April 30.)

Your thoughts and comments are always appreciated!


[tags]atheist, atheism, Life Today, James Robison, Betty Robison, Jim Henderson, Christian[/tags]

  • juliet

    I saw you on Life Today and understand why you think the way that you do. I went through that many years ago, but the amazing thing was that the more I tried to deny that God existed, the more real He became in my life. So many things happened in my life that I know God was showing Himself to me. I can’t say there was a natural explanation for all the awesome things that were going on in my life because I surely couldn’t find any. Many events in my life were supernatural. It is difficult to explain to others who don’t have the faith, but I know in my heart and soul that God’s hand was in all of those events as He is today. All I know is that God exists and that He will give every single person on this earth the opportunity to accept that He is or accept that He isn’t.

  • Shannon Maybee

    I am a young christian who does not like religion. Ive heard that Jesus speaks about hating religion more than anything else in the bible. I believe it. Churches and christians have failed as a whole as far as being an example to society. I myself have failed. Ive claimed to know him and love him (and I do) and yet I just cant seem to get everything in my life together and I never will. I AM A SINNER, and so are you and so is everyone else in this world. No one can get good enough for God. No one can be saved enough. Salvation is progresive. I believe that we have been taught wrong about what heaven and hell really are. Who wants to serve God just so they wont go to hell. Not me. I believe in the salvation of all man. I believe that every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord. Not out of fear, but out of coming to the realization that he created us and that we have already been judged and there is no judgement to come. HE lOVES US, no matter what we do. There is so much freedom in christ , yet we only hear about the “do’s and the dont’s”. We dont know what love is, so it is hard to love a God that people make so complicated. All I know is that I love him because he first loved me, and because he does not condemn or Judge me. I believe he created each and every person and that no man will burn in hell forever. He died for us to set us free. I believe he just wants us to know him so we can learn about his love, and to truly love other people no matter who they are or what they have done. I believe very few christians know how to do this, because thay are so full of the judgement that they have learned in church. If we just seek him on our own and without the influence of other people and their opinions. God has no opinion!(here I go giving mine). If we just let go of the knowledge that we think we have and start seeking his love, or just asking him to show us what his love really is, we could change the nation.

  • Jen

    Hi Hemant,
    I just saw the Life Today episode. I had never watched Life Today, but what a blessing that I started today. I am a Christian but have been very turned off in the past by Christian television, Christian media and frequently other Christians and churches. It’s hard in religion to find something real and authentic. I was so glad to see someone like you interviewed by two such faithful people who didn’t try to convert you and told you that you would be loved no matter what decision you made. That’s what Christianity is. That’s where so many of us are coming from. That’s not to say that we don’t love seeing others come to Christ or that it’s not what I consistently pray for, but no matter what, we will love others. In my own life I have found real faith, real honesty from so many people and it was nice to see that in your work you did too. It’s nice to know that you found people breaking down the stereotypes. Watching your interview was a wonderful start to my day. Being associated with Christianity can be frustrating because of what it has become in America, but you gave me the encouragement to just keep striving for the authenticity that people need to see. Thank you so much and for what it’s worth, I will be praying that God will continue to use you to bring Christianity back to what it’s meant to be. I’m looking forward to reading your book. Take care.
    Love,
    Jen

  • http://musings.meanderwithme.com Allison

    Oh dear. Let the evangelists come out of the woodwork. Let’s guess how many people will try to “save” you today via the comments section…

    Blast you for not posting this yesterday! Guess I’ll have to watch the first program online, but Tivo is set to record tomorrow’s.

    Started the book last night, and I’m really enjoying your conversational style of writing so far (not that I’m surprised). If we lived in the same town, I’d totally take you out for a beer. As it is, instead, I’ll likely recommend your book to a few of the more intellectually-minded and truth-seeking Christians whom I know and respect. That, and I’ll buy a copy for my Dad (along with Parenting Beyond Belief) so his head can stop exploding about my husband’s atheism.

  • http://musings.meanderwithme.com Allison

    Jen, apologies for lumping all three of the first comments together. Your comment was stellar, and you’re the kind of person I’d call the “good kind of Christian!” :)

  • Jan Berry

    I saw Hermadt on the Pat and Betty Robison show today. I just wanted to express my gratitude for seeing such a show. I am praying for this young man, because he is searching for that which is Right, and that which is True…it is totally bigger than Ebay. Thank you for visiting the churchs and please don’t be discouraged if you see some of us doing questionable things…as in physical growth, spiritual growth is a process.

    Jan

  • M.K.

    Saw you on Life Today….enjoyed. I understand your intellectual need regarding faith. I enjoy the website Reasons.org and wanted to recommend it to you. I think you may find your intellectual need can be fed there.

  • http://www.biay.blogspot.com Moggy

    The show must have been good, because someone called me to tell me about it.

  • Brian Macker

    Flipping through the channels I see this atheist being interviewed on a Christian show without them treating him like the devil incarnate. Of course, I think LSD has been slipped into my o.j. Then I hear him say hes a former Jain. “Well”, I think, “that explains it”. After all from the point of view of a Christian the Jains are heathens and your rejection of their faith was the first step in a move to Christianity. I pretty sure they would not be so welcoming to Christian apostate.

  • http://www.conversationattheedge.com/ Helen

    Hi Hemant, I thought the show went really well. I’ve been looking forward to seeing it for a while.

    I thought James and Betty were very respectful. I liked his final comment that people could have you visit their churches and then call him. Either to say you became a Christian at their church – or that half their church became atheists!

  • Logos

    I liked his final comment that people could have you visit their churches and then call him. Either to say you became a Christian at their church – or that half their church became atheists!

    What does that mean????

  • Chris

    http://www.BillboardsForChrist.org and http://www.NeedHope.Net can help in the decisions of the heart. Compassion for the heart, and Concern for Eternity are both addressed in these websites. It is done intellectually and logically.

  • http://www.lifetoday.org Randy Robison

    Hemant,

    Thanks again for joining us on LIFE Today. You will notice that your photo is on Tuesday’s show while Jim’s is on Monday’s. I realized late in the day that I could have flipped the order there to match the content of the shows better, but I’m leaving it so you get equal “face time.”

    The important thing is for you and your readers to know that those television programs will be in our archives for at least a year. The Quicktime video and MP3 audio can be downloaded, copied and transferred. The transcript can also be downloaded. Just click “US/Canada Calendar & Archives” from the homepage and select the month. (Your shows are split between April and May.)

  • txatheist

    Additional scenes from the show.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=67-4UoMPPqI

  • http://www.conversationattheedge.com/ Helen

    Me: I liked his final comment that people could have you visit their churches and then call him. Either to say you became a Christian at their church – or that half their church became atheists!

    Logos: What does that mean????

    Watch it in context – the video is online.

  • http://bjornisageek.blogspot.com Bjorn Watland

    Good show Hemant. It did seem off that Jim was so interested in getting your opinion of church services so he could better market the product of Christianity. When you had spoke in Minnesota, there was a concern raised that by getting pastors to fix their flaws, to hone their skills, they would use your advice to attract more members, or become better at selling their product. You criticized churches in the episode who were only concerned with the numbers, with getting more members and building bigger churches. If leaders of those churches determine what works, and what doesn’t especially with a younger audience, wouldn’t that lead to greater church membership? Granted, that could be for the better or worse.

    I’d like to think that by pointing out problems with church services, you can help a church maintain its membership, keep people from becoming apathetic to religion or theology. In the show, you mention that you liked how people felt a responsibility to act in a Christian way, do certain things to help people because that is a part of their faith. If more people become apathetic to religion or theology, and just stop caring, maybe they will be less willing to help others. So, if by establishing a dialog between Christians and atheists, you can make it more enjoyable for believers to go to church every Sunday, so they will continue to have compassion for others, and you open a door to atheism for those who feel more comfortable with that frame of mind, both groups would be interested in making the world a better place.

    Are there any ultimate goals? Is the goal to slide some leaders in one direction or another to fit an atheists ethical worldview?

  • Logos

    Watch it in context – the video is online.
    My player won’t work can’t you give me the cliff notes version?

  • http://www.atheistvolunteers.org Tom Slowikowski

    Hement, I just watched the clip, and all I gotta say it “Beautiful!”

    You are doing wonderful things by being such a brave diplomat. Cheers to you!

  • http://friendlyatheist.com Hemant

    My player won’t work can’t you give me the cliff notes version?

    Logos- It will be downloadable shortly, making it easier to watch.
    i’ll post the link when that happens!

  • Logos

    Can’t someone just explain the quote I was asking about?

  • http://friendlyatheist.com Hemant

    I liked his final comment that people could have you visit their churches and then call him. Either to say you became a Christian at their church – or that half their church became atheists!

    What does that mean????

    Logos– There was a point where we were saying that I could visit churches (at their request) if they would like to have a dialogue. One church did this and I wrote about it in the book. James was suggesting to his viewing audience (mostly Christian) that churches should take me up on this, and he was making a couple jokes in the process. Here’s what he said (from the transcript) as he looked into the camera:

    “I Sold My Soul on eBay” — there is the web site if you want Hemant to come and interact with your church and pastor. Maybe he will make the grand announcement that he trusted Christ in your church! Maybe you’ll have to call and say, “Half my church became atheists!” I don’t know what you’re going to say. But I’m going to tell you, if you don’t have them a little bit prepared then you need to get them prepared.

    Hope that explains the comment.

  • Logos

    O I C

  • http://www.conversationattheedge.com/ Helen

    Hemant, thanks for explaining for Logos. Where’s the transcript?

  • http://friendlyatheist.com Hemant

    Hemant, thanks for explaining for Logos. Where’s the transcript?

    You can see yesterday’s transcript by going here:

    http://www.lifetoday.org/site/PageServer?pagename=tel_USCalendar_Apr07

    (go to April 30).

    Today’s transcript is here:

    http://www.lifetoday.org/site/PageServer?pagename=tel_USCalendar_May07

    (go to May 1).

  • Jim Henderson

    I thought that Life Today people were professional, generous and unreasonably kind to both Hemant and I considering the kind of heat they could expect given their target audience. I really enjoyed working with James Robison and learned a ton watching him do his work.

    It was cool to catch the cameo of Tx Atheist in the audience as well. Shout out to TX

    One commenter on this blog seemed concerned about what my motive might be for doing this show

    Good show Hemant. It did seem off that Jim was so interested in getting your opinion of church services so he could better market the product of Christianity

    For the record – I have zero interest in promoting the cause of Chrisitianity or church. I dont believe in religion.

    I do however love many people in churches and respect and admire a number of pastors who,while I may disagree with them theologically, are nonetheless outstanding human beings and passionate followers of Jesus.

    For those people I want to provide a clearer picture of how the people we say we are trying to reach- connect with – truly feel about our efforts- bad or good.

    If through their efforts more people become followers of Jesus then I applaud them. If not – then that’s fine as well. It’s an open market place of ideas and who knows what some people drive Fords and others drive Hondas?

    I have enjoyed working with Hemant on this project and am so happy that he is being provided a platform for his friendly atheist ideas.

    Lets work together to make the world a better place.

  • cindy

    First I want to say, why as an athesist do you even care about Christians?
    Many Christians including myself would say, what are you trying to prove?
    It seems you are trying to prove something that you could never do.
    The sad thing is:
    If we are wrong with who we believe in Jesus Christ,then its not a problem, but if you are wrong its your eternity.
    Why do Christians care so much about you? I can only answer that by why does God love us? Do you ever ask yourself the question “But what if I am wrong”? Its sad to think you live your life here on earth and then die and all that your life is worth is worm food……that life doesn’t continue, why make a difference in this life to make the world a better place???Your life doesn’t really matter…. Now that is sad to me and doesn’t make we want to live right.

  • cindy

    I want to also add that Christians need to wake up.
    .
    I think you are cashing in and taking advantage of the Christian faith.

    Find another faith to cash in on….or use.

  • Jen

    Thanks Allison. :) As a Christian who has many friends who are agnostic or atheists, I’ve been blessed to have the opportunity to find out where others are coming from, what they think and to be able to love them unconditionally. I think a lot of Christians fail when we isolate ourselves or grow up in a cardboard box where we aren’t exposed to people with different beliefs. That’s why I was so glad to see Hemant on Life Today. I hope his appearance on the show will help us as Christians to realize that it’s not just about tolerating other people, it’s truly about caring for them and respecting them regardless of differences. It concerns me when I see comments that say, “Why as an atheist do you even care about Christians?” or “Why do Christians care so much about you?” As human beings, aside from any religious implications, it is part of our inherent nature to be relational and caring with others. As someone who tries to follow the example of Jesus and his teachings, I have all the more reason to care about and love others. One of the hardest parts of being a Christian is sometimes feeling like you take a step forward toward helping to break down some walls and then someone else can come along and take it three steps back. But that’s all the more reason to keep taking those steps. :) Thanks to Hemant, Jim, and all of the Life Today crew for a wonderful segment.

  • cindy

    Too many Christians comprimise their beliefs so they won’t offend anyone..
    The name Jesus Christ will always offend someone.
    The problem is if more Christians dont stand up for what they believe in, then you will see more and more of GOD being taking out of things. Like the pledge, the dollar bill, the public schools,ect. & who is doing these things to take God out, let me quess (Atheist) I am not being ignorant like your comment Jenn, has said, (two steps forward,two steps backwards to break down walls, It is not up to me to save people. God is the one to break down these walls.I love people, but I will not comprimise my GOD. and buy an atheist book.

  • rose

    I’m not sure why I am commenting,but here goes. To me Pastors would not have to wonder ‘what works and what doesn’t’ in their churches if they just seeked God and let His Holy Spirit guide them. As far as athiests and unbelievers that have heard the “Good News” of Jesus and still remain athiest or an unbeliever that is their choice. Jesus did not beat anyone on the head and try to make someone believe He just told it and went on. He knows we all have a choice to make to believe or not believe. As christians all we can do is live the best we can for the Lord and let Jesus shine from our lives to others. We are not to try to convince someone, that is between them and God. Who can look at the wonders of this world and not know their is God. God is everywhere. I am so glad I know Him and hope that this site will actually open the eyes of all that do not know Him that they too can know Him for themselves.

  • Ron

    First, kudos to Hemant for having the courage to go on the air with James Robison and getting his message across so effectively. Hemant’s line on this morning’s program (Life Today, 5/01/07) encouraging churches to invite him to speak, and adding, “who knows, yours could be THE church!” (and then smiling) was masterful.

    Now, as to Cindy’s comment above: You’re missing the point completely. Hemant is not “cashing in” on anything, much less the Christian faith. Hemant simply realized that after becoming an atheist he had never put himself in explicitly religious settings, so he devised his church-going experiment. I would guess that anyone with a curiosity about God and faith might decide that if there were a way to find evidence of God, visiting a church would be a natural place to begin.

    As far as writing a book to show people what faith looks like through the eyes of an atheist, Hemant is providing an incredible service to people of faith. I hope Christians will have the humility to learn from him. As Jim Henderson alludes to above, if Christians can’t be bothered to listen to the people they say they want to connect with, there’s something wrong.

    Perhaps Hemant’s book (I Sold My Soul on eBay) will help Christians become more compassionate and less cynical. As I read the New Testament, I don’t see cynicism as something that Jesus recommended to his followers.

  • Jen

    Just wanted to write a quick response to Cindy’s comment. I’m really sorry that you thought I called you ignorant or even implied it. That certainly was not my intention. I only meant to say that it is hard to talk to non-believers when people are coming from so many different sides and ideologies. But, just as I respect Hemant and his views and care about him as a person, I respect your views also, especially as a fellow Christian. I admire you for being so strong in your convictions. You should never feel like you are compromising God and I respect that you aren’t going to do anything to feel that way, including buying Hemant’s book. I am planning to go into youth ministry and I will read Hemant’s book because I think it will be helpful to me in finding ways to reach out to unchurched youth. I think God uses everyone, even non-believers to fulfill his will and plan so I can see where this book may be an asset to me. But you have every right not to read it and I completely respect that. Again, I apologize if I upset you with my last comment. I truly didn’t mean to.
    Love in Christ,
    Jen

  • http://www.conversationattheedge.com/ Helen

    Ron, I loved Hemant’s comment “You could be THE church where I get converted” too!

    James Robison said something like that in the first show and I was impressed how Hemant picked up on it and used it at the end of the second one.

  • Jim Henderson

    I think you are cashing in and taking advantage of the Christian faith.

    Find another faith to cash in on….or use.

    Cindy- don’ t take your pent up anger out on Hemant take it out on me.
    Atheists dont care about the church or even our faith
    I care and thats why I hired Hemant- since he had better things to do with his time – I paid him to tell us exactly what he was seeing- If anyone is cashing in it might be me – I hired Hemant to help convert Christians who have a limited and narrow view of what Christianity is about

  • cindy

    Rose, thank you for your great comment. I agree with you!!!
    If the church would stay focused on God and allow Him to save people, we would all be stronger and active Christians making a difference and being truthful and real.
    As for having an atheist on the program and announcing his book with angel wings and a halo on the cover of his book, I still believe he has a hidden agenda.
    Sorry Jim I know your heart is right and I thank you for your comment,& I also understand your point on helping Christians evangelize the right way, but I strongly believe God is in the saving business and this is what we truley miss and teach in the Church. It should never be about the numbers.
    It is what we give not what we get out of it.
    Just like any relationship you have to take the time to invest in it.
    Christ will always shine through if your heart is pure!!!
    God Bless you all and thank you.
    Cindy
    http://www.raceforfaith.com

  • Logos

    cindy, most of the Christians here love Hemant! You need to get with the program!

  • hugh mize

    I saw you on “LIFE TODAY” and found you quite intresting. If you get a chance I would like to invite you to attend “ROCK BRIDGE CMMUNITY CHURCH” in DALTON GA. Services are at 9:&10:45 AM. You are welcome as you are and will be greated with love and respect. I would like for you to read in the “HOLY BIBLE” ,,,JOHN 3:17&ACTS 4:12 Sincerly, hugh mize


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