I've been thinking a lot about the differences involved in understanding God related to one's starting place. If a person starts with divine attributes (God, to be God, must be simple, persisting, eternal, etc), then the issues one deals with in theology are of a certain piece. And a lot of those issues have to do with causality. From the vantage point of classical theism, God is a single acting subject, the first cause of all things defined primarily in relation to an eternal will. God's freedom from this perspective is defined as a freedom from any impinging influence. God is only free as long as there is no necessity in God related to creation. In other words, God can only be thought of as free if God has no need of anything outside of God's self. God, therefore, can only be over/against the world, radically other than the world. And the world can only experience God causally, as the One who puts all things into motion. From this perspective, then the answer to any contingency is the priority of God. Why did a tornado work its way through downtown Minneapolis after the vote by the ELCA to ordain practicing homosexuals? God. Why was my son born with a congenital heart defect? God. We might build into this system any number of co-implicated systems, but our issues all revolve around God as a single, causing, actor.
But what if we begin with a narrative that assumes God as a loving community, Father, Son, and Spirit. God exists by making room for the other. In this sense, God's freedom is defined in relation to the other. God is free to be God by always opening space for the other, even creation. Here, the arrows do not always point in the same direction, from one to the many. Even within God there are mutually implicating relations. What causes things in an economy of love is complex and has various sources. The question of contingency has several possible answers because love is always making room for other actors. God's power is not so much a power over, but a power with. God's response to a chaotic world is not simply control over, but participation with. The goal of God's love is not to be over all, but to be all in all. This way of being with the world cannot be stated in simple formulas of cause and effect. It is complex and mysterious and does not answer readily to the question "why?"
Just thinking out loud.