Sunday Terminology: Deism

Deism: The belief that understands God as distant, in that God created the universe but then left it to run its course on its own, following certain “laws of nature” that God had built into the universe. An analogy often used to illustrate the deist view is that of an artisan who creates a mechanical clock, winds it up and then leaves the clock alone to “run out.” Deism became popular in the early modern era and was prevalent among several of the founding fathers of the United States of America, including George Washington, Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson.[1]



[1] Stanley J. Grenz, David Guretzki & Cherith Fee Nordling, Pocket Dictionary of Theological Terms (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1999), 36.


2 thoughts on “Sunday Terminology: Deism”

  1. The idea of distant God was perpetrated by the Church to make Deism sound less appealing. Our Deist forefathers still believed in Providence, the intervention of God in humanity’s affairs.

    Modern Deists tend to leave away from the idea of God intervening, but most seem to accept the notion that God interacts with the Creation.


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