I Sold My Soul On eBay Review: Unorthodox Atheism

Reed Braden posted his thoughts on I Sold My Soul on eBay over at Unorthodox Atheism.

He reviews it alongside Christopher Hitchens’ God is Not Great and says some very nice things:

… Hemant’s name is going up on my list of the top influential Atheist authors in all history. In being respectful and honest as he discusses his religious upbringing, his Atheistic views, and his journey that took him to churches of all shapes and sizes, he did what no other Atheist author I know of has been able to do: he got Christians to read his book all the way through!

This is finally a book that can appeal to Christians and Atheists alike. It is one of the few Atheist books I have read that didn’t make me feel scared or doomed, but rather gave me a sense of hope. Hemant doesn’t condemn Christians and scream at them for being wrong on certain issues. He talks to them in reasonable manner, throwing for a loop anyone with the preconception that Atheists are Stalinist fire-brands who want the utter banishment of religion.

I am going to loan this book to my former pastor to read. Not as an Atheist trying to topple the preacher, but as a friend looking to help a church I still feel somewhat fondly about and strike up a friendly dialogue.

Reed also has the book nicely placed in a video entry he made. Watch for the promise he makes at the end of it. Very classy.


[tags]atheist, atheism, I Sold My Soul on eBay, Christian, Waterbrook Press, Random House, Reed Braden, Unorthodox Atheism, Christopher Hitchens, God is Not Great[/tags]

  • Maria

    I agree with the review. I lent my copy of your book to several religious friends, not just Xtians, and they all liked it. You seem to have an amazing ability to cut across divisions. it’s great

  • Susan

    I just finished the book, and I have to agree–it’s one I’ll be lending out to a whole list of friends, atheist, Christian, or otherwise. Hemant, you’ve done a really nice job of showing a lot of aspects of atheism, probably more thoughtfully than many religious readers have ever thought about it before. And you’ve shown everyone, us atheists included, how atheists and religious people can work together, appreciate one another, and communicate without simply flinging insults. I really respect that, and I hope there will be many more books like this in the future!

  • http://unorthodoxatheism.blogspot.com Reed Braden

    Thanks for the plug of my plug. :-P

    I’m still trying to get in touch with my pastor friend. I think he may be in Guatemala this week, but I’ll get to him eventually.

  • Clockmaker97

    I have recently just finished your book and I must say that it was a fascinating read, although I am neither an Atheist or a Christian. Your guts and intellectual honesty must be commended for taking on the task of going into various Christian churches. If more people did this nowadays, then the world would be better off than it is now. In all truth, it’s probably one of the best books that I have read, on the subject of religion. It’s also the first religious book, that I closed not thinking that one side was better than another, but that an open mind is all one should need.

    However, I hope you don’t mind if I ask a few questions, here, that I had while reading your book.

    1. Would you be willing to do this sort of thing, for other faiths, such as Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, etc?

    2. Why did you only go into Protestant churches? I realize that the person that “bought your soul” was a Protestant (and this question should probably go towards him), but if one were to say that they wanted to help Christians, shouldn’t they than help ALL Christians?

    3. Does race really matter that much? I know you put a lot of emphasis on wanting a mixed gathering at Churches, but what difference does race make as long as a group of people are committed to gaining spiritual and intellectual enlightenment? After all it should be about who we are on the inside not outside.

    4. In your book you make a huge critique of the Christian donation efforts by saying that they spend too much of their gains trying to help Christians only, when they should helping every single human. On the other hand you then donate the money you got from “selling your soul”, to a Secular Organization.

    While I agree with the fact that we should help all humans the same, aren’t you creating a double standard by chastising Christian churches for doing to same thing that you are doing?

    PS: I’m sorry if this is the wrong place for my questions, but I couldn’t find a better place to post it. I also apologize, if these questions have already been asked in a earlier topic.

    PS 2: The purpose of my questions wasn’t to attack, merely just to ask. I apologize if you find any personal offense with these questions.

  • http://friendlyatheist.com FriendlyAtheist

    1. Would you be willing to do this sort of thing, for other faiths, such as Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, etc?

    When I put up the eBay auction, yes. At this time, I’m taking a bit of a church break :) Being a first-year teacher means spare time will be scarce!

    2. Why did you only go into Protestant churches? I realize that the person that “bought your soul” was a Protestant (and this question should probably go towards him), but if one were to say that they wanted to help Christians, shouldn’t they than help ALL Christians?

    I went to mostly protestant churches, though there were a few denominations in there. The main reason to stick to protestant and nondenominational churches was because those are the biggest and most well known. If we had room/time for more chapters, I would’ve been interested in chiecking out the other churches.

    3. Does race really matter that much? I know you put a lot of emphasis on wanting a mixed gathering at Churches, but what difference does race make as long as a group of people are committed to gaining spiritual and intellectual enlightenment? After all it should be about who we are on the inside not outside.

    I didn’t think I said it did. But the black churches were different from white churches. And I did feel singled out at times because I was Indian. I agree with you– it shouldn’t make a difference. But it did at the places I visited.

    4. In your book you make a huge critique of the Christian donation efforts by saying that they spend too much of their gains trying to help Christians only, when they should helping every single human. On the other hand you then donate the money you got from “selling your soul”, to a Secular Organization.

    Those donation were for separate reasons, for what it’s worth, so I don’t think that’s a fair comparison. I am opposed to Christians (or anyone) who give to their churches (or whatever) just to make them bigger, etc. If they use the money to help others, great.

  • Clockmaker97

    Much thanks for answering my question, as I’m sure you are heavily busy with your teaching career.

    1. Yes, I guess I can understand that. We all have lives, after all.

    2. I can also understand that. We don’t have all the time in the world, after all.

    3. I don’t really think that is the fault of the churches though. It could just be the area that the church is in. If a church is in a predominately black area, than one is going to get a black church. Also, someone could feel singled out in a room of people that are of the same color, or even nationality. Just go to a function that is from an Indian family outside of your family’s home state. For example, go to a Punjabi function and you will feel like an outsider as they do bhangra and all of that.

    4. But the basic principle for both actions has the same reasoning don’t they not? When Christians are donating to Christian causes (giving to a church, or Xian organization) it’s in the same thread, as you giving money to a secular organization. In the end you are strengthening your own causes, with the money you have gained.


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