The Independence and Freedom of God

Understanding God’s attributes, considered both absolutely and relatively, is key to the proper understanding of how the divines explain the nature of the decree. This absolute-relative distinction (opera ad intra-ad extra) highlights the independence and freedom of God in contrast to the created order. God is free, for example, to create and not to create; the creation is not part of God, neither is it an emanation from him, but rather it is radically contingent–it does not exist necessarily but is created ex nihilo (J.V. Fesko, The Theology of the Westminster Standards, 100).