[This series is part of Section Three, Creation and the Second Person. An index with links to all parts of the work as they are posted can be found [url=https://forum.evangelicaluniversalist.com/t/jrps-bite-sized-metaphysics-series-302/1218/1]here.]
[This series constitutes Chapter 24, “Creation or Creator?”.]
I have been discussing the application of principles of self-generation, which must be the most basic possible action of the Independent Fact. By such an action, God begets Himself; and because His property characteristics include rational sentience, which implies consciousness, then I think it must be true that the begetting and begotten unity of God must be a unity of distinctive Persons.
This is admittedly a rather difficult concept to picture, but I think it can be most usefully analogized by saying that God the Father eternally begets God the Son, Who eternally submits in self-consistency back to the Father. The Son is of one mind with the Father and does the Father’s will, and indeed does nothing except what the Father does, being the very action of God Himself. The Son may be said to be dependent upon the Father, but only in the sense that God is dependent upon Himself for His very existence.
Doubtless, if the analogy is pressed too far, it will break down; there can be no such thing as a ‘full’ analogy, for the fully similar would be the thing itself. This is why other analogies can be devised which help illustrate the basic principles involved; the multi-sided cube, for instance, can help us to understand the unity of something which in some of our other experiences we only find utterly distinct or altogether smeared.
But it is important to recognize the limitations of an analogy, in order to ensure the analogy is serving to illustrate the principles without superseding the principles. To require that the two Personalities must be utterly (even physically) distinct at their most fundamental level of existence–as a human father and son would be distinct–would be an error of arguing from the analogy, rather than letting the analogy be informed (and limited) by the principles involved.