Monday, February 15, 2010

What Does Theism Mean?


Over the past several postings, I have been sharing some definitions of some of the "isms" of belief. Of all things, here is one that seems I overlooked. I guess I saved the best for last, eh? This word theism covers a broad array of isms.

Theism: The view or belief that God, is understood as one infinite, all powerful, all knowing, completely good person, exists and has created the universe. Equivalent to monotheism. In contrast to this view, see atheism, pantheism, panentheism, and polytheism. (Source: C. Stephen Evans, Pocket Dictionary of Apologetics: Apologetics & Philosophy of Religion. Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2002. s.v. "theism".)

In the definition you see the core views of theism dealing with the essence of how God's existence is understood, from nonexistent to everything being god, to God being in process and recreating Himself and finally to there being many gods.  But there are different views of theism within a monotheistic framework that I will deal with in a latter time: neotheism (a.k.a. "open theism"), and Islamic monotheism.

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