A Few Reviews of My Book April 13, 2008

A Few Reviews of My Book

Every now and then, I come across reviews of my book. They’re usually fairly positive (even from Christians) with constructive criticism mixed in, some of which makes me want to scream (see below).

I just wanted to highlight a few blogs/people who took time to write about the book in the past couple months.

Heather at Heather’s Spot of Naïveté:

I Sold my Soul on Ebay is definitely a good book to read over such topics concerning the church, Christians and their attitudes and behaviors. Want to know what you as a Christian look like to someone who doesn’t believe what you do? Read what the friendly atheist has to say. He even gives advice.

An Apostate’s Chapel:

[James] Twitchell and Mehta both began their studies as non-Christians and they ended their studies in the same spiritual state. Both books offer interesting analyses of outsider views of the current state of American Christianity. If you read only one of these books, you’ll be intellectually rewarded. If you read both of them, your understanding of American Christianity will be well-rounded and enriched.

Michael McKinley of 9Marks:

… Mehta is very winsome. He seems to be very kind and likeable, the sort of person that you’d like to have lunch with. He’s a committed atheist, but he seems to be genuinely interested in helping Christians to see themselves as outsiders see them. He is respectful to the churches, pastors, and believers with whom he interacts. Unlike Hitchens et al, the author wants atheists to see ways that the church can be helpful in things that atheists approve of, like relief for the poor and education initiatives.

My Oh My:

The cool thing about reading this is really seeing flaws that churches have, whether I agree with his opinion or not, he brings up valid points about things churches do that bother people. each church he describes will remind me a little of a church I’ve been to in the past.

Kirk [Cameron] told him about how he grew up an athiest, and tried to witness to him. I think hemant was just bothered because he was directly being ministered to. He can’t be mad at Kirk for that, so him bashing Kirk in the book bothered me. If anything, Hemant came off as a bit defensive. I like something that was said in the interview by the way “You don’t think that the creation screams that there could be a creator” “no”. What? He says he is a logical thinker, but that’s illogical.



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  • Milena

    I think I just get confused by athiesm, because I am logical, it’s MORE logical to believe in God than not to.

    Lol, I don’t think it’s worth wasting your breath screaming over it, Hemant. And why does the author continually spell it “athiest”? That and the bad grammar actually bother me more in the statement I quoted than the statement itself.

  • Daniel

    “You don’t think that the creation screams that there could be a creator”

    I don’t let anybody use the term “the creation” around me anymore. It allows people to set up that tautology. “There is a creation so there is a creator.” It’s not a creation, it’s just the universe.

  • Miko

    I like something that was said in the interview by the way “You don’t think that the creation screams that there could be a creator” “no”. What? He says he is a logical thinker, but that’s illogical.

    Suggesting that “creation” suggests a “creator” is a (somewhat opaque) example of the formal fallacy of affirming the consequent, as well as just being an argument by bad grammar. It’s very interesting (and disappointing) that people who haven’t studied logic seem to use the word ‘illogical’ as a synonym for “saying something I disagree with” rather than as “making deductively invalid inferences.” It’s a shame that logic has somehow fallen out of the standard curriculum.

  • Kate

    Pshhhh – the only reviews you need are from Erik and me. Also, if his uber-Baptist parents enjoyed the book…then that’s all you need to know.

  • cipher

    I agree with Milena. These opinions aren’t worth fussing over – unless you’re getting to the point at which you find Christian theology offensive in general (as I do). This is who they are. For example, the fellow at 9Marks – the bottom line of his review? You’re a nice guy, but you just don’t get it. Stumbling block, unbelievers blind, stench of death, yadda yadda… . The mere fact that you don’t believe proves that they’re correct. Paul set up this defense mechanism for them nearly two millennia ago, and they’ve been using it with enthusiastic abandon ever since. How can you ever win?

    Apostate’s review didn’t go into detail, but it was unoffensive. The other two? Very young women without a whole lot to say. One thinks that “Heaven should be the country club for Christians”. (Where will the rest of us be? On the public course?) The other likes Kirk Cameron and admits to being “confused by atheism”. Please.

    I wouldn’t let it bother me, Hemant.

    Two things:

    1. Did you really not know at the time what Christians are trying to save you from, or did you simply mean that they weren’t making it clear?

    2. Is anyone else as sick as I am of Christians trying to use Einstein to validate their beliefs? I find it particularly offensive: A. It represents an extremely biased interpretation of his writings; B. They believe that he’s now in hell – but they still get to use him.

  • grazatt

    that My Oh My: girl seem like a DINGBAT!

  • Any hater of Kirk is a friend of mine. BTW, I am picking up your book soon. Sounds like it should be pretty good.

  • Karen

    … Mehta is very winsome

    Winsome? My oh my! 😉

    the church can be helpful in things that atheists approve of, like relief for the poor and education initiatives.

    Hey, at least he’s got the idea that atheists approve of poverty relief and education initiatives!

  • “You don’t think that the creation screams that there could be a creator”

    What screams is that tired argument. It’s screaming the names of several logical fallacies.

  • Mriana

    Kirk [Cameron] told him about how he grew up an athiest, and tried to witness to him. I think hemant was just bothered because he was directly being ministered to. He can’t be mad at Kirk for that, so him bashing Kirk in the book bothered me. If anything, Hemant came off as a bit defensive. I like something that was said in the interview by the way “You don’t think that the creation screams that there could be a creator” “no”. What? He says he is a logical thinker, but that’s illogical.

    That wasn’t in the Hemant’s book was it? If it was, it probably wasn’t that important, esp if I don’t remember it. Now that helpline with an answering machine and other things like that, I do remember. I don’t think Hemant was defensive at all, but actually upfront and honest about the various problems. Apparently, what was important to me, was not important to this Christian and vise-versa. Obviously there is a value diffence going on there.

  • A lot of what I said about Krik in my review was stuff from the radio interview, which he mentions in the book and gives a link to in the back.

    Glad to hear I apparently have little to say and am a dingbat? Nice maturity.

    Regardless, I liked kreading the book, I wouldn’t have finished it, or given any time to review it if I didn’t. I like books that make me think about stuff on a deeper level, this did that. I recommend the book to christians, and we sell it in the christian bookstore I work at.

    And yea, I admitted to liking Kirk, and therefore was obvious bias when I wrote it, but if your going to write something and be bias, own up to it. I did.

    Either way, it’s interesting to know a bunch of people have read my words now.. though highlighting the Kirk Cameron thing was kind of lame, it was more of a personal thing for me, the other things I gave criticism on we’re more important. I also never said I agree with the way Kirk witnesses, I think it’s kind of cool, but it’s not how I do things.

  • grazatt

    and I still think you are a Dingbat!

  • Hemant – Out of curiosity, how do you feel when people say, “Unlike Dawkins/Harris/Hitchens, Mehta _______.” Is it frustrating to feel like religious people are trying to divide atheists into different teams, or is it cool with you when they make statements like that? I’m curious.

  • Hemant – Out of curiosity, how do you feel when people say, “Unlike Dawkins/Harris/Hitchens, Mehta _______.” Is it frustrating to feel like religious people are trying to divide atheists into different teams, or is it cool with you when they make statements like that? I’m curious.

    It depends on the context. In message, I’d like to say all atheists are on the same page. We want to see more people having a rational outlook on the world. In terms of tone, we all do things differently. You can divide any group of people into separate groups if you want… but I don’t think I take offense if they put me apart from the others when it comes to approach.