My Willow Creek Appearance

Last night, I was invited by Pastor Randy Frazee to speak with him at Willow Creek Community Church. I had a great time and was treated really well by everyone there. It was even more fun to hear Willow Creekers (?) tell me stories about their own atheist/Christian interactions during the book signing afterward.

If you didn’t get a chance to come, you can now watch the service online.

Just go here and you’ll find the video in the middle of the page (the date was 7/25/07). I don’t appear until the 10:25 mark, but it’s well worth hearing Randy tell the backstory first.

Your comments on it are welcome!


[tags]atheist, atheism, Willow Creek Community Church, Randy Frazee[/tags]

  • Andrew

    I was at Willow Creek Community Church last night when you talked. I thought you were very articulate, and I greatly appreciated your courage to go to a church and share your beliefs with everyone. Thank you!

    Andrew

  • Ryan

    Hey Hemant,

    I was there last night and really appreciated your prespective on church and Christians. We learned a lot.

    Thanks,
    Ryan

  • http://www.sfeps.com Joe

    I am a member of Willow Creek church and was in attendance last night. Thanks for being so brutaliy honest with what you liked about Christian churches and Christians and even more so for what you disliked about churches and Christians and particularly Willow Creek. It took a lot of courage to stand in front of a crowd of people who are different than you without knowing for sure how they would respond to what you had to say. You were quite articulate, personable, candid, serious when appropriate and humorous when appropriate also. Your respectfulness to stand and sit when others did so during the service did not go unnoticed by me. Thank you!

    I hope you walked away with a sense that WIllow Creek’s doors are wide open to you to investigate what Christians believe and why. Come back anytime.

    NO TARGET – NO PROJECT

  • Tom Slowikowski

    Hemant,

    You kick ass.
    Nuff’ said.

    Tom

  • Deb

    Hi!
    Thanks for sharing! I loved hearing about your experiences in life in general. Even thought I was raised going to church as a kid, I never understood any of it either. I think if people didn’t have doubts and struggle with their faith they would have to be brain dead…Thanks so much for speaking… it was awesome!

    Deb

  • http://verge.lifepointblog.com James Laws

    I enjoyed the talk. I thought you did a great job. Anything that leads to better communication is always a good idea.

  • http://www.myspace.com/leecookebarbo Lee

    Funny, the challenge statement Randy made about knowing what you believe and why you believe it is the same one that led me down the path to atheism. The preacher at the church I attended at that time had made the same challenge to the congegation in our church and I took him up on it… and here I am today… an atheist.

  • http://www.jasonbock.net Jason Bock

    Odd, I keep getting a “Windows Media Player cannot play the file because a network error occurred. The server might not be available. Verify that you are connected to the network and that your proxy settings are correct.”. Any thoughts? This seems like a very interesting vid to watch…

    On a related note, during my xian days I went to WC a couple of times when I was in the Chicago area. One of those times I noticed a book called “Did the Devil Make Darwin Do It?” I think that book made me start questioning my YEC views, and then my views on religion in general. Took a while, but I think I can “blame” WC for the loss of my faith :)

  • Maria

    That was a great interview…..

  • Greg

    Hi Hemant,

    I really enjoyed watching the recording of your talk with Randy Frazee. You were truly honest and caring. Often times, Willow Creek gets negative comments made about them by other churches and leaders who feel that Willow gets way too friendly with the “seeker crowd”. Often times, they say that the services are much too “light and fluffy” without any basic truths. I’m so grateful that since the begining, Willow has been on a mission to help seekers. They believe that everybody matters to God. I can tell you that I would have never known the true love of Jesus Christ and the FACTS and anwers to many of my questions without Willow Creek Church challenging me each and every week to truly investigate Christianity. It has become more and more clear to me as I’ve gone along in my journey.

    God grants great wisdom and knowledge to those that truly want to know him and seek him out. Look at Lee Strobel, who was very much a “seeker”. Look at where he is today. He’s very much a Christian, but still seeking daily. There is nothing wrong with seeking as long as your heart is in the right place. I took a recent road trip by myself and listened to a Dr. Hugh Ross CD made in 1994 about new discoveries that proves the existence of God and how the Universe was created. Even though I believed, I was interested to hear what an expert astro-physicist had to say about the Big-Bang Theory, Grey Matter, and what stage of creation we are at in God’s creation.

  • http://www.apilgrimsprogress.wordpress.com Calvin Moore

    Yeah. Gotta tell you Hemant, seeing this did NOT make me happy you can’t make it out here to Rochester. LOL! This is EXACTLY what I was hoping for. You were absolutely astounding in your insights and the way you carried yourself in front of such a large crowd of people you disagree with religiously.

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  • Sue Manning

    Hi Hemant,

    I was at Willow Weds. night & thoroughly enjoyed your interview with Randy. You are very bright, articulate, thoughtful & funny. I grew up in the church until I was 18, then left home and did life “on my own” as an athiest until my son was 6 yrs old and I was 36. I decided I wanted to take my son to Sunday School since I had learned some good moral values there when I was growing up but after church hopping for about 6 mths. and getting nothing out of it but confirming why I was an athiest I was about to give up until a friend invited us to an Easter service at Willow Creek. I really just wanted to find a church to send my son to Sunday School to, but was so drawn in by the message that Easter Sunday that I kept going back myself and after listening, reading, questioning and investigating for 2 yrs. I often say “I went looking for a Sunday School for my son and found myself a Savior”. I now have a personal relationship with Christ and can’t imagine life without Him. Just keep your mind and heart open and I hope to see more of you at Willow Creek.

    Respectfully & God Bless,

    Sue

  • Kim M.

    Hi Hemant!

    The first time I saw you was on Life Today with James and Betty Robison. You really got me thinking about how do non christians perceive me. Do they think you hypocrite or do they say I want what she has? I must honestly say sometimes I do not represent the likeness of Christ. As christians we are supposed to be like Christ. Sometimes I forget that the way I treat people, the way I act, and the way I live my life is a witness. There is always someone watching. I’ve had to repent. You made an impression on me that I have not forgotten.
    I live in Tennessee and I was visiting my sister who lives in Wheaton last week. Her and her husband go to Willow Creek Church. I went to church with her last Wednesday and you happen to be the guest speaker! I love that christians and non christians can get together and talk about their differences without it getting into a heated or angry debate. I have learned alot on how to be more effective in my witness by listening to you. Thank you for sharing your story with us. If you are ever in the Knoxville or Chattanooga area I would like to invite you to come speak at or just visit my church.

    Many Blessings,
    Kim


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