Some Perspective Categories on God


CategorySub-CategoryBrief Description
AtheistPositive AtheistPositively believes in the non-existence of a supreme personal God/being
AtheistNegative AtheistStates lack of belief in a supreme personal God/being
AgnosticClosed AgnosticDoesn’t know if there is a God, and doesn’t believe it is something knowable.
Agnostic“Ignostic”Doesn’t know if there is a God, and doesn’t really care.
AgnosticOpen AgnosticDoesn’t know if there is a God, but would like to know.
PantheistRejects a personal God, but accepts the spiritual interconnectedness of all things. Creation is the holy, and the transcendent.
PanentheistSimilar to pantheist. However, a pantheist may say that God IS everything, while a panentheist would probably say that God IS IN everything (or permeates everything)
PolytheistBelieves in many gods (at least the existence of many gods)
PolytheistHenotheistBelieves in many gods, but chooses to worship only one
PolytheistDualistBelieves in two primary Gods. They worship one god, and see themselves as opposed to the other.
MonotheistBelieves in one true God. Rejects the term god as applying to other beings.
MonotheistDeistSees God as transcendent creator, who is presently uninvolved in this world.
MonotheistUnitarianGod is one and cannot be seen as divided in any way
MonotheistBinitarianGod is one but can be identified in terms of two persons— Father and Son.
MonotheistTrinitarianGod is one but can be identified in terms of three persons— Father, Son, and Holy Spirit
MonotheistModalistGod is one and cannot be divided, but changes His form at different times in History or in different settings.
OtherAntitheistUsually just means anti-religious, or in opposition to theists, rather than a statement regarding belief in God
OtherSkepticDoubts or rejects things that are outside of the mainstream “scientific” and will only diverge from these beliefs with a high level of verifiable evidence.
OtherFreethinkerStands in opposition to Authorities and Tradition for determining what is right or what is important (including authorities that skeptics might accept).
OtherHumanistMore ethical in viewpoint than focusing on God or not God. Humanists often would see themselves as Spiritual, but not Religious— or perhaps Spiritual, but not Theistic.
OtherNaturalistOne who rejects the existence of any form of existence beyond our universe. (Or one who may accept multiple universes, but would reject one that might be described as “supernatural.)

Some of these terms I got from Brian McLaren’s book, “Finding Faith.” Some I got elsewhere… don’t remember. Obviously human thought and behavior is far too broad to be encapsulated in a few key terms… but these still help a bit.

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