Correct me if I'm wrong, but my understanding is that the Father "begot" the son from eternity. I suppose you could formulate my question as, did the Father have any choice in this? As in, could he have chosen not to beget the son, thus remaining a unity of persons rather than "becoming" a Trinity of persons?
Or is the Trinity of persons considered an essential property of God such that it simply couldn't have been any other way?
(I know that in one sense, the Trinity IS an essential property of God, because all of God's properties are essential. So I'm finding it hard to formulate my question accurately, but I hope you get the gist of what I'm asking)
I'm interested in answers from any "Critical scholars" as per Dick Harfield's comment