What is Deism?

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.  He is not involved in the lives of people and he does not work in the world in any way.  The world is like a watch that has been created, wound up, and is running, but the watchmaker does not touch it anymore.  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 by God.  Therefore, Jesus cannot be God in flesh.  

Deists hold their theological perspective based on reason, the complexity and apparent design of the universe, and that God is by definition incomprehensible and unknowable. The problem with this is that human reason is limited. Though it might be sufficient to conclude God exists, how can it be justified using logic that God is not involved in the world? Furthermore, if a Deist says that God is incomprehensible and unknowable, how does he know that this is true? Furthermore, in the case of Christian theism with the incarnation of Christ, how does a Deist know that such a thing is not possible? If there is a rational argument that makes the incarnation impossible, I would like to hear it so that it can be cross-examined. But, I've yet to hear such an argument.

“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 from the Christian perspective

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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About The Author

Matt Slick is the President and Founder of the Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry.