Master of the Universe – God pulls the strings and works miracles
Watchmaker – God put the world together, wound it up, then left it running
List Maker – God takes notes on what we do and rewards or punishes us for our acts
Still Small Voice – our conscience, the voice of right and wrong
God is order, gives order – God is nature and scientific rules
Personal God – God is a presence which comforts us and has a personal relationship with us
The most popular description changes from class to class. This class gravitated towards the List Maker, with Master of the Universe a close second--definitely fans of the powerful, omnipotent God. No one went for the science God or the personal God.
I also gave them some words to catagorize their beliefs:
Theism – belief in the existence of God, either Monotheism & Polytheism
Atheism – a view which denies the existence of God
Agnosticism – the view the we cannot know whether or not God exists
Pantheism – God is equated with the forces of nature; God is in everything
The majority of my students relate to agnosticism. I think that's because they are just beginning to think about this and don't feel comfortable making a choice. One term, a girl said, "I'm an atheist and a monotheist." While these are opposites, I understood what she was saying--she's not sold on a belief in God, but if she did believe in God, it would be One God.
This is one of my favorite lessons because there's no right or wrong, yes or no. I just create the space for questions and discussion. Towards the end of the session, I let them all know that whatever they believe now is likely to change within some years, and will continue to change and evolve all their lives. Belief or not in God, in a transcendent spirit, or whatever other language you prefer, the unexplainable will always exist and how we deal with it is always subject to change.