Classically, the philosophical concept of “substance” denotes the essence of a thing in distinction from its accidents and its qualities. In traditional Western ontology an analogy of being was sought between human and divine reality which could be discerned to some degree by means of reason. As such, objections may be raised that Childs' concern with Biblical reality will end up with a static deposit, a “ground of being,” or an abstraction of timeless ideals.
Childs, however, treats the biblical witness as primary in order to fill these philosophical terms with meaning. The reality to which the Bible points is dynamic, rather than static. The narrative nature of the regula fidei (which Childs endorses, cf. here) already points to this. As Childs states, according to the Bible
“the reality of God ... has no true being apart from communion, first within God's self, and secondly with his creation. God is one whose being is in loving which is grounded in a freely given commitment toward humanity and this relationship is constitutive of his being.” [*]