Welcome to Theists & Atheists: Communication & Common Ground. The main theme of this site is respectful communication among those who hold various views about God – belief in God, disbelief, agnosticism, ambivalence, and/or bewilderment.

You may find this site helpful if:

* You are in a love relationship with someone who disagrees with you about theology.

* You believe in God, and you want to communicate with people who doubt that God exists.

* You don’t believe in God, but some of those you care about are committed theists.

* Friends and family members clash about religion. You wish you could help them reconcile.

* You want to have candid and yet respectful conversations with those whose opinions are different from yours – opinions about religion, politics, morality, and other emotionally loaded subjects.

This blog is written by Roger Schriner, author of Bridging the God Gap: Finding Common Ground Among Believers, Atheists and Agnostics. Roger graduated from the University of Redlands summa cum laude, majoring in religion, philosophy, and psychology. He received a Doctorate in Religion from Claremont School of Theology and an M.S. in Marriage, Family and Child Counseling from the University of LaVerne. His honors thesis at Redlands examined the ethical thought of theologian Paul Tillich. He has also studied comparative religion, neuroscience, philosophy of mind, and various spiritual disciplines.

Roger has been both a psychotherapist and a Unitarian Universalist minister. Bridging the God Gap is his fifth book. His previous publications include Feel Better Now and Do Think Twice: Provocative Reflections on Age-Old Questions.

One long-term goal of this blog is to briefly review books about whether God exists and what God is like. Eventually you will find reviews of books on theology by writers such as Bob Altemeyer, Karen Armstrong, Rob Bell, James P. Carse, John B. Cobb, Jr., Don Cupitt, Richard Dawkins, Daniel Dennett, Michael Dowd, Greg Epstein, Anthony Freeman, Sam Harris, John Haught, Christopher Hitchens, Bruce Hunsberger, Mark Johnston, Michael Krasny, Ian Markham, Scotty McLennan, Bradley Monton, William R. Murry, Tom Owen-Towle, Stephen Prothero, Eric Reitan, Rabbi Steven Carr Reuben, Charles Taliaferro, and Rick Warren.

Dr. Schriner enjoys sharing ideas from Bridging the God Gap as a speaker, consultant, and workshop leader. He often speaks on Theism and Atheism: The Differences That Unite Us, and he can follow up that talk with Does God Exist? Pastor Chris Debates Dr. Schriner, in which he debate with himself about this question. He is available for conferences on religion or philosophy, college classes and colloquia, religious services, and Interfaith gatherings.

He will debate on either side of most theological questions.

Your comments and feedback are welcome. Rants will be ignored, but Roger will reply to all non-rabid communications as time permits. Thanks for your interest in Theists & Atheists: Communication & Common Ground.

11 thoughts on “About

  1. Pingback: Common Ground - US Message Board - Political Discussion Forum

  2. I thought I had heard that there was a study guide for Bridging the God Gap but I can’t seem to find it. If there is one, please let me know how I might get it. If not, please let me know so I can stop looking. Thanks! Rev. John L. Saxon (Raleigh, NC).

    • Thanks for your interest, John. What’s available is a Workshop Leaders Manual. But you won’t be able to find it for sale on line because I’m not charging for it. I’ll email you a copy.

      • Dr. Schriner, I am only half way through your book and am finding this material so energizing that I have sent emails to members of our Board of Trustees proposing that we use your book as the basis for small group study groups among the members of our small UU congregation. I am a member of this board and Program Chairman.

        Our librarian has ordered four copies of your book so we can have a “common read” among the Board and engage in a discussion group among members of the board plus a few other members of our congregation with strong UU backgrounds.

        We are excited because we desperately need to find common ground. We have two Sunday messages scheduled this month to be delivered by two UU ministers from nearby UU congregations on the subject of “Christian Bashing”.

        Hopefully, your insightful book will allow us to go beyond our congregation and open lines of communication with other religious groups. Perhaps, we can sponsor a Saturday workshop like you conducted in Charlotte, NC last year. (Isn’t the internet wonderful?) Are you available? Please furnish me a Workshop Leaders Guide and anything else that you think might be helpful based on the comments above. Do you have any information on how best to establish contact with other denominations? For example, what promotion material was involved in Charlotte?

      • I also am reading your book and want to lead a class at my UU congregation. May I get a copy of the Workshop Leaders Manual ? Thanks and best wishes.


  3. I have been an atheist for over 30 years. However the worst thing about being an atheist is that there is no hope in an afterlife. That is why I created my own belief system that has current scientific knowledge as its basis but fills in the gaps that science cannot currently explain with religious answers. There is no deity and as science advances so will my beliefs. I would appreciate if you could check out my blog at

  4. Can Bridging the God Gap: Finding Common Ground Among Believers, Atheists and Agnostics be published in Nook or Kindle e-book format? To cut down on clutter in my house, I’ve been buying books in e-book format for the past 4 years.


    • Steve, I completely agree it would be a good idea, but I’m quite far behind with some high priority tasks. Completing my new book, Your Living Mind, took a full year longer than anticipated. A lot of personal and professional items had to be put off. I think when I do an e-book it will be a new one, maybe a short book on free will. Once I get the hang of it, I can go back and look at e-booking previous publications.

  5. Am I correct that you are an Unitarian theist? You see, what I know about Unitarians is that they don’t believe in three persons in one God. And another thing is that they are not active in converting people to what I call Unitarianism, unlike say Christians who are Catholics and Protestants of the strong Biblical orientation.

    I find that interesting, namely, that you are one theist but not Christian and not Muslim and not Jewish, still just the same you have this desire to work as to get atheists and theists and whatever else humans to at least communicate civilly and fruitfully, instead of behaving with anger and hostility against each other.

    I like to talk with atheists, but I always have the bad ‘luck’ to encounter atheists who are hostile to any exchange on the topic God exists or not; what I find them is that they are always angry and not receptive to civil exchange and even hostile, they want to always set up obstacles of all kinds to any possibility at all to talk logically, and yes, civilly.

    Do you have this experience with atheists?

    I will now find out how if any atheists are here, whether they can talk with me civilly, and also not be obstructive against all kinds of reasonable exchange on the topic, God exists or not.

    Tell me, have you this experience of atheists, they are angry, hostile, and yes obstructive to communication with anyone who is just even just trying to find out, how they get to become so hostile against God, as to call God degrading names like flying spaghetti monster, etc.

    That is why I always say to myself and to them that they are always dodging the issue of God exists or not, blocking any possible exchange to talk on truths, facts, and logic, civilly with me.

    What is your impression with atheists?

    • Those who voluntarily state that they are atheists, without being prompted, are often people who want to get into an argument. Because so many people look down on atheists, a great many of them avoid discussing religion, because they don’t want to be lumped together with drug dealers and ax-murderers. So for people to voluntarily state, “I’m an atheist,” they have to feel OK about getting into a fight — or want to!

      Most of the Unitarian atheists I have known are open to discussing religion in a respectful manner.

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