THE FOUR GODS
A 2006 Baylor University survey polled Americans about their beliefs in God, including God's characteristics and behavior. Researchers analyzed the results to determine how engaged in the world Americans believed God to be and whether or not they thought God was angry at humanity's sins. They concluded that Americans tended to believe in 1 of the 4 following types of God:
Authoritarian--God is very involved in people's "daily lives and world affairs"; God will punish those who are unfaithful; God is responsible for economic depressions and natural disasters.
Benevolent--God is involved in daily life but is not angry or wrathful and is mostly a positive force.
Critical--God observes the world and is unhappy with it but does not get involved in daily affairs; "divine justice may not be of this world."
Distant--God is not involved in the world and is not angry but is, rather, a "cosmic force which sets the law of nature in motion."
Carl Sandburg (1878-1967)