THE AUTHOR, Dr. Roger C. Schriner, is the author of five books on theology and psychology, drawing upon his background in ministry and psychotherapy. He has counseled theists, atheists, and agnostics, trying to comprehend and appreciate their spiritual orientations. He writes in clear, engaging, non-technical language, and his book includes 21 exercises and techniques for exploring theological issues and learning to respect other points of view.
CONTENTS: Chapter One sketches the current controversy between theism and atheism. Going beyond this conflict requires understanding other viewpoints, so Chapters Two and Three include suggestions about dealing with our own biases. Chapter Four outlines strategies for communicating about religion. Chapter Five focuses on what we all have in common, regardless of our theological orientations. Chapters Six and Seven show why the beliefs of theists and atheists are often much more similar than they seem at first. Chapters Eight through Twelve address specific issues that divide believers and non-believers. Chapter Thirteen considers disagreements among various forms of theism and various forms of atheism. For example, liberal Christians and fundamentalists argue about how to interpret the Bible. There are also clashes between anti-religious atheists and "spiritual atheists." Chapter Fourteen synthesizes the book's ideas, and suggests new ways of classifying theological perspectives that go beyond "theism vs. atheism."
TEACHERS, MINISTERS, AND OTHER PROFESSIONALS will find additional information and documentation in the book's extensive endnotes.
Bridging the God Gap shows how to have honest and respectful conversations with those who disagree with us about theology. Use it to understand others, and give it to others to help them understand you.
"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
"A particularly useful book crossed my desk recently: BRIDGING THE GOD GAP: Finding Common Ground Among Believers, Atheists, and Agnostics ... In it, he 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
"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
"The sustained dialogue between Agnes, Althea, and Theodore is wonderfully developed, and generated considerable insight." The image of the lookout post is "a stroke of genius." - Rev. Alexie Crane, Minister Emeritus, Unitarian Society of Santa Barbara
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About the Author
Schriner writes, "In 40 years as a minister and pastoral counselor, I have discovered that theists and atheists have far more in common than they imagine. Both viewpoints are worthy of respect."