Follow this through and the result is a God who needs us to become complete. Without us/creation, God can only want to love, but not actually love. So, in a real sense, God would only become a God of love when we arrive on the scene to love! I suspect that this, or a variant of it, is preferred by many people. They like the idea of a God who, to be complete, needs us. Indeed, put like that, it almost sounds plausible. But not quite. Here are a few thoughts as to why, all of which will need further development.
- If you have ever been loved by someone who needed you excessively, you will understand why the idea of a God who creates out of need is not a God who is perfect love. Or to put it more succinctly, a God who creates out of need (albeit to be able to love that which is created), is not a God who is love.
- A God who creates out of need is not a God of freedom, and therefore not a God of love. God's love is free, or it is nothing.
- The God of need is not, by definition, love. The trinitarian God is, by definition, love. The God of need stands behind God's love of us.
- When loved by the God of need we would not be receiving God's very self when we receive God's love. The doctrine of the Trinity is, quite simply, trying to tell us that because God is love, we receive God when we are loved by God.
- This God of need remains a shadowy figure behind God's love. The revelation of God's love in Jesus would be a revelation of God's love of us, but not of God.
- To be loved by the God who needs us means that we will always remain exterior to God. (To be a little crass about it: There is God over there, the God who loves us, and here we are. Modelled on the way we love each other.) However, the doctrine of the Trinity speaks of a more profound and fulfilling destiny: we will be included in God's own life of love, because to be loved by the God who is love is to join God's own life (of love). How could it be anything else?