Call deism the claim that God made the universe and left it to itself; just as a man might make a machine, turn it on, and let it run for years after he’s forgotten about it. On this account of existence, it must be initiated but not preserved or conserved. The doctrine will always have some attraction in a scientific age.
Whatever the claim is, it is not an account of creation. If creation means anything, it requires that there no third thing outside creatures and the creator, but in order for creation to keep on existing after the creator has forgotten about it would require that the reason for its continuance be from a creature – a claim which is either gibberish or which collapses into the sort of infinite regress we get when we posit turtles to explain the solidity of the earth. Again, our machines continue running because the various creatures we made them from continue existing, but the act of creation does not require taking creatures as givens. There is therefore no division between initiating existence and preserving it. Both are the same act if the act is at all.