I Sold My Soul on eBay
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|I Sold My Soul on eBay|
|Publication date||17 April 2007|
I Sold My Soul on eBay is a non-fiction book by Hemant Mehta, an atheist and blogger, who describes his visits to a variety of Christian churches. These visits initially occurred as a result of an eBay auction Mehta created where he offered to visit the worship services of the winning bidder's choosing. The media later branded this auction as Mehta "selling his soul."
eBay auction 
In January 2006, Hemant Mehta posted an auction on eBay where he explained his background in atheism and offered to go to the worship services of the winning bidder's choosing. The auction ended on February 3, 2006 with a final bid of $504 from Jim Henderson, a minister from Seattle, Washington. Mehta later donated that money to the Secular Student Alliance, a non-profit organization in which he serves as Chair of the Board of Directors.
Henderson asked Mehta to visit a variety of churches and write about the experiences on Henderson's website, off-the-map.org. Mehta eventually wrote about his visits at nine different churches as well as two additional pieces dealing with atheist conventions and Christian media.
Media coverage 
Nearly a month after the auction, an article about Mehta's experiences appeared on the front page of The Wall Street Journal, leading to a flurry of media coverage. Mehta appeared on the front pages of the Chicago Sun-Times, the Daily Southtown, the Seattle Times, and DNA. He was also a guest on several radio shows and was featured in many Christian magazines.
An editor at WaterBrook Press, a Christian book publisher and an imprint of Random House, read Mehta's writings and asked him to visit additional churches for the purposes of a book. I Sold My Soul on eBay contains Mehta's observations and critiques of the churches along with background on how he became an atheist. It was released on April 17, 2007.
Mehta visited churches across four states: Illinois, Michigan, Texas, and Colorado. The churches profiled in the book include New Life Church (Pastor Ted Haggard), Mars Hill Bible Church (Pastor Rob Bell), and Lakewood Church (Pastor Joel Osteen).
The foreword for the book was written by Rob Bell.
References and notes 
- "Mehta's original eBay auction (via Internet Archive Wayback Machine". Archived from the original on 2006-08-18.
- "Wall Street Journal article, reprinted on Off-the-map.org".