The christology of the Apologists is known to be the Logos Christology. Their teaching is summarized as follows:
- Logos endiathetos - eternal reason within God
- Logos prophorikos - the spoken word of God ( the begotten Son)
The Son, according to the Apologists, was begotten in order to create all things. It means that there is neither eternal Father nor eternal Son. (source)
The Apologists believe that God became a Father when his logos became his Son. Although they are two persons, there is still one God because the Son is from God's being and hence, inseparable to him. They further teach that the Father and the Son are "of same nature" and even used analogies like the Sun and its light are of same nature. The Latin Apologists, Tertullian says:
Thus the connection of the Father in the Son, and of the Son in the Paraclete, produces three coherent Persons, who are yet distinct One from Another. These Three are one essence, not one Person, as it is said, I and my Father are One, John 10:30 in respect of unity of substance not singularity of number. Against Praxeas 25
On the otherhand, Athanasius taught that the Father and the Son are both eternal. He taught that the Son is without beginning because the Father who begot him is without beginning. (source)
So as I understand it we have:
Athanasius ( Son = eternal) of one nature with the Father. I do believe this is logical.
Apologists (Son = not eternal) of one nature with the Father. I can't understand how could they affirm the Son's consubstantiality with the Father when they affirm that the Son has a beginning of existence.
Now, my question is this:
In what sense do the Apologists mean when they affirm the consubstantiality of the Trinity? Both the Apologists and Athanasius ( + all of the Pro-Nicene Fathers) agree that the Three are "of one nature, essence, substance, being", but the former affirm that the Son has a beginning while the latter affirm that the Son has no beginning, so what's the meaning of their affirmation "of one nature"?