We are sometimes made to think that classical theism and deism share nothing in common. That’s not quite right. At the most general level, they are both theistic positions — they assert the existence of God. But that’s where the commonalities give way to differences.
While the deist is not an atheist — he or she claims a supremely powerful, superhuman intelligence was necessary to create the universe at the beginning of time and give it the order it has now — the deist does deny that God plays any active role in the universe as it presently operates.