The picture of the creator God surrounded by his creatures, all dependent on him, is in the end an infantile picture. It does not allow God to experience the mature relationship of love. The announcement of Jesus is that this picture is out of date. In Jesus the Father has one whom he loves as an equal and the gospel is that we are called to share in the exchange of love between them, to share in the Holy Spirit. The doctrine of the Trinity lies at the foundation of the Christian gospel because it announces the most ultimate liberation of people, their liberation from God, or to put it less dramatically, their liberation from mere creaturehood. The gospel announces that we stand before God not simply as creatures before a benign creator. We stand before him as Jesus does, as equals in an exchange of love.

So if we seek the significance of the life and death of Jesus we have to see it, as indeed classical theology has seen it, not only as liberation from sin but liberation from creaturehood itself: divinization. To take the doctrine of the Trinity seriously is to say that divinity is now found in people, that they create their own destiny in virtue of his divinity. It is to say that the picture of the prearranged plan worked out by God up there, to which we must conform, is only a provisional picture, an inadequate one. There is no heaven waiting for us; it is we who will create heaven, but only because of the divine life we already have within us… We help to create heaven by failing to make it. The suggestion is paradoxical. But that is what the crucifixion meant. Jesus failed and that is how the kingdom was established.

God Still Matters, 181.

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