Book on “Bridging the God Gap”

Bridging the God Gap: Finding Common Ground Among Believers, Atheists and Agnostics by Roger Christan Schriner, available at

Do you believe in God? Is it hard to talk with people who doubt that God exists?

Are you an atheist or agnostic? Do those who love you fear that you’re going to hell?

Do friends and family members argue over religion? Do you wish you could help them reconcile?

If you are interested in building communication, cooperation, and common ground among theists, atheists, and agnostics, you may want to consider Bridging the God Gap:

Bridging the God Gap shows how to have honest and respectful conversations with those who disagree with us about religion. Use it to understand others, and give it to others to help them understand you. (Or read it to help sort out your own beliefs.)

Bridging the God Gap is well-written, insightful, and chock-full of inspiring, practical wisdom. Getting long-time theological rivals to respect each other as kindred spirits just got a whole lot easier. This book deserves a wide readership. Bravo!” — Michael Dowd, author of Thank God for Evolution, which was endorsed by 6 Nobel-Prize-winners


Introduction: Building Walls or Building Bridges? — What’s in this book and how you can use it.

Chapter 1: A Widening Divide — Why hostility between theism and atheism has heated up lately.

Chapter 2: Knowing the Unknowable — Both believers and skeptics must grapple with deep mysteries.

Chapter 3: God Meets the Mind Machine — How hidden brain mechanisms construct our convictions.

Chapter 4: Disarming Conversation — Promoting positive, caring communication about spirituality.

Chapter 5: Human Kinship — What all of us have in common despite doctrinal disagreements.

Chapter 6: Looking Past Labels and Slogans — Why theism and atheism are often more similar than they seem.

Chapter 7: Mystery and Metaphor — Faith and doubt converge, on the common ground of mystery.

Chapter 8: Is God Real? — Both belief and disbelief illuminate life’s journey.

Chapter 9: Do We Need God? — And does traditional religion help us or hurt us?

Chapter 10: God and Morality — Both theists and atheists can live with integrity.

Chapter 11: God and Mortality — Theology, death, meaning and value.

Chapter 12: Gifts from Strange Sources — How theism and atheism can learn from each other.

Chapter 13: Why Theists and Atheists Fight Among Themselves — Spiritual atheism versus anti-religious atheism. Open-minded religion versus fundamentalism.

Chapter 14: The Differences That Unite Us — Theism, atheism and agnosticism can help us understand ourselves and care for our world.

More reader comments:

Bridging the God Gap is “a particularly useful book …” “Roger Schriner … describes the wide continuum of nuanced positions between ‘theism’ and ‘atheism’ … Bridging the God Gap offers a breathtaking array of places to stay, or at least visit, along the road between theism and atheism.” – Jim Burklo, Associate Dean of Religious Life, University of Southern California

“This book is different from any I have seen and fills a really important gap.” – theologian John Cobb, Center for Process Studies

“Before I read Bridging the God Gap, I really didn’t understand the diversity of thinking that exists among atheists and agnostics. This book changed my attitude and opened up possibilities for healthy communication that didn’t exist before. It can be of great help to people seeking to better understand those who see the world differently than themselves and can be especially valuable to families facing strong disagreements over religion.” – Protestant Minister, Indiana

“Finally a book that respects people regardless of whether they are religious. Thought-provoking and even-handed. Thank you for gently nudging your readers into opening their minds – at least a tiny crack.” – Atheist, Palo Alto, California

“I think the book and workshop that you have created fill a particular void that is especially important in our deeply diverse religious tradition. As a facilitator for our class you presented some challenging ideas in a caring and patient way.” – Rev. Kent Doss, Laguna Beach, California

“As a Unitarian Universalist who believes in a force for good in the universe, and as a scientist who is constantly questioning and trying to understand that force, this book not only gave me wonderful ideas about how to discuss God and religion with others of all beliefs, but also helped tremendously as I try to tease apart, define and embrace my own feelings and thoughts. I recommend it highly for anyone who seeks to honestly connect with others with different beliefs, as well as for anyone seeking to better comprehend what they truly think and feel themselves.” – Elizabeth Maynard Schaefer, author of Writing Through the Darkness: Easing Your Depression with Paper and Pen

“I found it illuminating to read your brilliant analysis of the divisions of opinion within each of the isms: theism, atheism, materialism, plus Christianity. The sustained dialogue between Agnes, Althea, and Theodore is wonderfully developed, and generated considerable insight” The book “fully achieves the intent implied by the title, that is, it points out the shift in attitudes that must occur in order to Bridge the God Gap.” Rev. Alexie Crane, Minister Emeritus, Unitarian Society of Santa Barbara.

“The central idea of the book – that atheists, agnostics and theists have more in common than is often believed, and that substantive, rich, meaningful dialogue is not only possible, but necessary – is something that the world sorely needs.” – Rev. Barbara F. Meyers, Certified Spiritual Director

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