After a bit of a break to try and gather my thoughts...
These are my statements and musings on the relationship between Jesus, God, Divine Simplicity in mind. From the point of view of Arianism, and the potential "nature" of his creation/begetting.
I agree with what Illusive stated, that we must try not have blatant contradictions, especially of doctrine and scripture. Things need to be harmonious and make sense to the best of our ability, but always in accordance to scripture, and "from" scripture (rather than applying philosophy onto scripture, scripture must inform us of philosophy). Additionally, whilst trying to have things make sense, I do not wish to go to the lengths of "putting God into a box", which "must conform" to our understandings, at the cost of contradicting scriptural statements, nor to place upon Him, and artificial limitations, born of the limited human mind, and not from inspired knowledge.
Current from inspired scripture we know:
1.God is eternal, no beginning, no end
2. We say logically, God must be equal in part to his qualities, lest we say his qualities pre-exist him, and somehow be their own "Gods". As "all things" are from God.
3. God cannot "change his qualities" (lessen them, or increase them), because God is already "everything", and cannot be "muted" (or made to be weaker).
4. Scripture makes no mention of the terms "substance, essence...", etc, thus its use in trying to describe God, would be 100% theory of man, and is not mentioned in scripture, and thus we do not know "how" God is composed
5. God somehow made this temporal universe, without causing pantheism, implying he has some kind of ability to use his power to "create" without attaching himself to his own creation (see my video on mystery this premise in the DS thread here viewtopic.php?p=51180#p51180)
To determine Jesus' relation to the father:
1. We understand he is described as "divine, mighty, powerful" (qualities not unique to the Father in scripture), in John 1:1
2. We know Jesus is "begotten" (which can either mean, "created", "born" or "out of")
Thus, to determine, from my Arianist point of view....
Begat/Born out of God
If Jesus was literally begat or "born of God". This would mean, that God would have "somehow" had to have "given birth" to Jesus. One could say, through projecting his substance somehow, without "changing" or diminishing himself.
This could be possible, by observing that he was able to use his own power, that is, Himself, to create our temporal universe. Showing he somehow has ability make things, would diminishing himself, even though all things "must" come from God "somehow", which means all material things, had to have had some kind of origin from God's power being temporally applied.
Arguments against this, are the assumptions that God "cannot express part of his eternal nature into a separate being not attached to himself" in order to "literally beget" his son, for this by some is seen to "diminish God". I however, upon the above reasoning of creation, feel that, this may be placing limits on God, which originate in men's minds, and not from any scriptural stance, that God is "incapable of expressing his being to create another individual", without being diminished or changed.
In this I could present a framework, that God was an eternal wellspring. He can fill buckets of water, which comes from himself should he wish, yet he does not lose water, or change within himself, for he in Himself is an eternal spring, any water "lost" is not lost at all, but is replaced within himself constantly. The water however that was collected into the bucket, could then be used by God to create another being "like himself". In this, we could possibly say, that when God "begat his firstborn", this may be the manner in which it was done.
If so, this would imply, the nature of Jesus, or "part of him", had an "eternal origin", though Jesus himself not being eternal as an individual, for his "soul", his mind, the person he is, is created by God, fused with the water he "begat out of himself" one might say.
This being unique to Jesus as the Son, as all other things are "created through Jesus", and for Jesus. In this, we might say that God either "made everything else" from "nothing", and not in "begotten out of himself" way, and Jesus as the skilled crafter from Proverbs 8, "assembles" these things. Alternatively, God could "act through" Jesus as his agent to create, for part of God's eternal nature that was begat out of Himself to create Jesus, could also be infused with his own power, in such that, "God created" "though" Jesus, in a more "literal" sense. That the eternal part of Jesus, not quite being totally "himself", but is the power and nature of God that flows through him.
Though, we must be wary of claims of "polytheism" and "co-creatorship". In scripture, the Father is said to be the "creator", whilst Jesus is the "crafter" (there being two different root words in various texts).
This framework interprets the word "begotten" in a way that is similar to Trinitarianism, which claims Jesus is "begotten but unmade", in that he is "from God" or "born out of God, but is not "created from nothing". However, the differentiation of the Arian application of this scriptural take, would be to claim Jesus' mind at the very least, would be unmade, in order that he be an individual who was not God himself, and came about in time, though "part of him" would have an eternal nature.
In this framework, Jesus can be said to be fully created in every way, having nothing at all "eternal" about him of origin.
In this case, the interpretation of scripture of Jesus being begotten would mean "birthed" or "fathered" in a poetic sense, in that God is Jesus' creator, and not in a literal sense such as "giving birth" from oneself (as a human mother births her child from her own existing DNA), and is one of the root translation variations, which simply means "only" or "unique".
There are various takes on this framework, in that Jesus could be simply a standard creation, or, a "copy" of God, but imperfect, "like God", but not to his full deity. Jesus being the "image" of God (as Seth was the image of Adam, the "likeness" but not the "exactness", in Hebrew and Greek, image is to mean in the root definition "similar to, in form of a picture, statue, or mirror reflection").
This framework has the least complications, and the least philosophical assumptions. It's interpretive framework would not take begotten "literally" as to be "out of oneself", but by its definition to mean "created" or "brought about into existence".
Reference scriptures to the nature of Jesus:
- “YHWH acquired (qanah) me as the beginning of his way, The earliest of his works/creations (miph’al) of long ago. From ancient times I was (nis·saḵ·tî) installed/poured out(?), From the start, from times earlier than the earth. Then I was beside him as a skilled craftsman. I was the one he was especially fond of day by day; I rejoiced before him all the time.” – Proverbs 8:22-23, 30
“He is the image/likeness (eikōn) of the invisible God, the firstborn - all creation“ – Colossians 1:15
"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was divine/mighty“. – John 1:1
“No man has seen God at any time; the (monogenēs) only-begotten/unique/only(?) divine/mighty one who is at the Father’s side/in the bosom is the one who has explained Him” – John 1:18