What is Deism?

 by Matt Slick

Deism is the teaching that God exists, that he created the universe and everything in it, but that he stopped being involved in the universe and in people's lives after he made the universe.  Another way of looking at it is to say that God created the universe with everything in it and is letting everything go its natural course without any further intervention on his part.  Deism teaches that there are no more miracles, and that the Bible is not inspired of God.

“Deism is the recognition of a universal creative force greater than that demonstrated by mankind, supported by personal observation of laws and designs in nature and the universe, perpetuated and validated by the innate ability of human reason coupled with the rejection of claims made by individuals and organized religions of having received special divine revelation.”1

Deism is unbiblical since Scripture clearly tells us that God is involved in the world and has intervened in it many times.  Consider the flood, or the deliverance of God's people from Egypt, and other miracles.  Of course, the most profound example of God's involvement in the world is found in the incarnation of Christ who performed many miracles, died on the cross, and rose from the dead.

Problems with deism

The main problems are many:

  • First, it denies the person of Christ as the only means of redemption.
  • Second, it is man-centered because there is no revelation of God or his divine will.  Any religious doctrines developed without God have to originate with man’s understanding and preferences.  Therefore, it cannot be God-centered.
  • Third, morality cannot be derived by watching nature.  Animals kill, eat each other alive, and are brutal.
  • Fourth, all reason from a deistic mindset is subject to human limitations and failures.  Without divine intervention and clarification, people will do what is right in their own eyes, and this subjective system of reason leads to confusion and inconsistency.

 

 

 

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