Summary of Chapter 3: THE CLOCKWORK: DEISM (Pgs.40-51)


            Deism according to Sire came about as a response to: internal strife within Christendom; and resulted in a view of reason that trumped any revelation, thus making autonomous human reason the ultimate reference point.

Deism’s God is not personal, but an unknowable architect of the universe, who wound up the creation and left it alone to govern itself.  The major tenets of Deism are:

First, God is utterly transcendent and not personal; second, creation runs itself deterministically; third, while human beings are personal, their decisions are not significant because somehow they are not self-determined; fourth, there’s a denial of the Fall and sin, so what is, ought to be.

Moreover nature tells us what we need to know about God, He does not write books.  He’s a designer but not a lover or judge; fifth, ethics reveals nature so what is ought to be, thus there’s a denial of right and wrong good and bad; sixth, the course of history is linear but predetermined at creation, thus Deist’s are not interested in history for God’s knowledge is had through nature, not any of God’s acts in the past; seventh, there’s a denial of the incarnation.

Interestingly, many religious pluralists hold to many of these tenets not least of which is the denial of the incarnation.

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