I don’t agree with everything that the late Colin Gunton said about the doctrine of God, but he makes a significant point about divine freedom in the immanent Trinity in relation to the integrity of the world as contingent order:
In face of both of these polemics against the doctrine of the ontological Trinity, and against any suggestion that it is only the freedom of God that is at stake here, it can be argued that on the contrary that doctrine serves as a foundation for the relative independence and so integrity of worldly reality also, and thus for human freedom. It is because God is a communion of love prior to and in independence of the creation that he can enable the creation to be itself (Gunton, The Promise of Trinitarian Theology, p. xviii).
Ultimately, Gunton writes, the elision of the immanent Trinity has a propensity to ‘the pantheism which results from any attempt to bring God and the world too close’. In other words (and to go a bit beyond Gunton’s own phrasing), the moment we negate the fullness of God’s being in its antecedence to the world, the world takes on a character that it was never meant to have and must bear the unfortunate burden of assisting in the project of God’s own self-realization.
What do you think about this point? What are some ways of drawing out the implications of the preservation (or forfeiture) of God’s freedom in se for our understanding of creation?