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Author Topic: Who Is Your God?  (Read 1329 times) Average Rating: 0
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Jetavan
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« on: October 07, 2010, 09:47:48 AM »

A new book, America's Four Gods, draws upon research of the past few years, concluding that American's ideas of who God is, can be grouped into 4 different categories. The authors:

"show that regardless of religious tradition (or lack thereof), Americans worship four distinct deities: the Authoritative God, who is both engaged with the world and judgmental; the Benevolent God, who loves and aids us in spite of our failings; the Critical God, who catalogs our sins but does not punish them (at least not in this life); and the Distant God, who stands apart from the world He created. The authors show that these four images of God form the basis of our worldviews and are among the most powerful predictors of our feelings on America’s most contentious issues."

You can also take the test, and see which God you believe in. For some reason, my God is an Authoritative God. Shocked

USAToday has a front page story on the book.
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« Reply #1 on: October 07, 2010, 10:04:15 AM »

Unfortunately, its categories for religious affiliation are:
  • Protestant
  • Catholic
  • Other Religion
  • Not Religious
We've already had threads on "Which one do I pick?" This in itself is simplistic, as is the categorizing all people into one of four specific groups based on their notion of God. I really don't see the value in it.
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« Reply #2 on: October 07, 2010, 10:33:23 AM »

Unfortunately, its categories for religious affiliation are:
  • Protestant
  • Catholic
  • Other Religion
  • Not Religious
We've already had threads on "Which one do I pick?" This in itself is simplistic, as is the categorizing all people into one of four specific groups based on their notion of God. I really don't see the value in it.
That's not actually part of the survey. That's just a preliminary question.
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« Reply #3 on: October 07, 2010, 10:58:19 AM »

Unfortunately, its categories for religious affiliation are:
  • Protestant
  • Catholic
  • Other Religion
  • Not Religious
We've already had threads on "Which one do I pick?" This in itself is simplistic, as is the categorizing all people into one of four specific groups based on their notion of God. I really don't see the value in it.
That's not actually part of the survey. That's just a preliminary question.
Let me clarify: I find that pigeon-holing people into four distinct groups based on their conception of God is not something I see as worthwhile or helpful, in except perhaps the most simplistic way. I apologize for not paragraphing correctly.

As far as the preliminary question is concerned, what then is its point?
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« Reply #4 on: October 07, 2010, 11:16:42 AM »

I took the test, and the result was that my God is benevolent.

In the box where I was asked to write, how do I view God, I wrote, "sacrificing Himself for His beloved creature, man."
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Jetavan
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« Reply #5 on: October 07, 2010, 11:51:03 AM »

Unfortunately, its categories for religious affiliation are:
  • Protestant
  • Catholic
  • Other Religion
  • Not Religious
We've already had threads on "Which one do I pick?" This in itself is simplistic, as is the categorizing all people into one of four specific groups based on their notion of God. I really don't see the value in it.
That's not actually part of the survey. That's just a preliminary question.
Let me clarify: I find that pigeon-holing people into four distinct groups based on their conception of God is not something I see as worthwhile or helpful, in except perhaps the most simplistic way. I apologize for not paragraphing correctly.

As far as the preliminary question is concerned, what then is its point?
One of the preliminary question is about one's gender. I reckon it's just a way to get some general idea of the demographics of the people who answer the survey.

You can choose to skip the preliminary questions, and it won't affect your ability to do the survey.

I should also say that the survey linked is most likely an abridged version of the fuller survey.
« Last Edit: October 07, 2010, 11:51:55 AM by Jetavan » Logged

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« Reply #6 on: October 07, 2010, 01:05:35 PM »

Based on your answers, you view God as being distant.

A distant God is one who is non-judgmental and disengaged from the world.

30.1% of the people who have taken this survey responded with a God type of distant.
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« Reply #7 on: October 07, 2010, 01:34:35 PM »

The four types are associated with all sorts of other social perspectives. Authority and Benevolent types tend, for instance, to be much more suspicious of evolution than the Critical and Distant types, in general. I scored high in "Authority", but am not suspicious of evolutionary theory at all.
« Last Edit: October 07, 2010, 01:34:55 PM by Jetavan » Logged

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« Reply #8 on: October 07, 2010, 01:58:40 PM »

Based on your answers, you view God as being distant.

A distant God is one who is non-judgmental and disengaged from the world.

30.1% of the people who have taken this survey responded with a God type of distant.


This is interesting.  Could it maybe be because of the lack of an active prayer life that so many think He is distant?

I took it and found God to be benevolent.

It's also interesting to me that 3 out of the 4 choices are essentially negative ways of viewing God.  Only benevolent views Him in an altogether positive manner.  To me, all this whole thing really says is that we're not doing our job very well of evangelizing.  The fact that Orthodox aren't even on there, and that God is so widely viewed in the negative, says to me that we have not spread His gospel the way we should...
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« Reply #9 on: October 07, 2010, 02:14:45 PM »

I tended to answer the questions about God's judgment in such a way that I can understand them saying I saw Him as non-judgmental. However, when it came to questions about God being disengaged, I actually answered in a way that indicated that I thought God was engaged with the world. So, because there were only four types to pin on people, there was a bit of a situation. I don't fit into the distant category as far as the disengaged part goes, but I did fit into that category as far as the non-judgmental part.
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« Reply #10 on: October 07, 2010, 02:50:22 PM »

Based on your answers, you view God as being distant.

A distant God is one who is non-judgmental and disengaged from the world.

30.1% of the people who have taken this survey responded with a God type of distant.


This is interesting.  Could it maybe be because of the lack of an active prayer life that so many think He is distant?

I took it and found God to be benevolent.

It's also interesting to me that 3 out of the 4 choices are essentially negative ways of viewing God.  Only benevolent views Him in an altogether positive manner.  To me, all this whole thing really says is that we're not doing our job very well of evangelizing.  The fact that Orthodox aren't even on there, and that God is so widely viewed in the negative, says to me that we have not spread His gospel the way we should...
Among Americans overall, 24% saw God as Distant. The same percent saw him as Benevolent.

You can probably find all four types in all churches, but certain types would dominate certain churches: e.g., Benevolent among the Orthodox, or Authoritative among the Calvinists.
« Last Edit: October 07, 2010, 03:04:27 PM by Jetavan » Logged

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In order to become whole, take the "I" out of "holiness".
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« Reply #11 on: October 07, 2010, 03:39:26 PM »

I viewed God as "critical". I wonder how much our results reflect our views of our human fathers?
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« Reply #12 on: October 07, 2010, 04:30:35 PM »

Another dumb book-selling gimmick. *yawn*
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« Reply #13 on: October 07, 2010, 04:31:04 PM »

I viewed God as "critical". I wonder how much our results reflect our views of our human fathers?

Hmmmmm... An interesting question.  I know I view my father as benevolent.  He's extremely loving and supportive, caring, very much a "daddy."  Both my parents are, actually.  I could totally see how that would effect my view of God.
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« Reply #14 on: October 07, 2010, 04:59:47 PM »

I tested as authoritative as well.

But I must say, there are far more than 4 gods in America (though only one of them is God).
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« Reply #15 on: October 07, 2010, 06:16:40 PM »

How true. Images of American gods/goddesses can be found, but they do not seem to match the ones mentioned in the OP.  angel
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« Reply #16 on: October 07, 2010, 06:38:34 PM »

I think that this survey is silly. It creates to many false dilemmas. I mean, God can be both benevolent and authoritative. In fact, God's benevolence might be the source of his authoritativeness.
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« Reply #17 on: October 07, 2010, 06:49:51 PM »

It gave me auth...au...authori-ta-ratio-tiv-ness-ous....
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« Reply #18 on: December 26, 2010, 02:26:44 PM »

I ended up with 'distant' God. Not that I want Him to be that way, but I just have a hard time believing that he cares or involves himself with our day to day life/routines based on how the world is...
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« Reply #19 on: December 26, 2010, 02:36:53 PM »

I got Benevolent, like I expected.  Smiley
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« Reply #20 on: December 26, 2010, 04:59:22 PM »

God is God
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« Reply #21 on: December 26, 2010, 06:39:52 PM »

God is God

Awesome.
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« Reply #22 on: December 26, 2010, 06:58:09 PM »

I was waiting for the "Duh"... Cheesy
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« Reply #23 on: December 27, 2010, 12:55:15 AM »

I got authoritative, but I agree that this test is less than satisfactory, at best.
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« Reply #24 on: December 28, 2010, 12:04:43 AM »

God is God

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W7SFcB0vOhQ
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« Reply #25 on: December 28, 2010, 04:20:54 AM »


interesting to say the least...
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« Reply #26 on: December 29, 2010, 03:30:36 AM »


That's really trippy.
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