I cannot offer a Trinitarian's perspective on this question, but I do believe in the Deity of Jesus Christ. I appreciate that the question was crafted to solicit multiple viewpoints; I'll offer a response representing one of those viewpoints.
The easy answer would be to say that 1 Clement isn't canonical, so it doesn't matter what he thought. While I agree that 1 Clement isn't in the same category as the canonical New Testament--and isn't anyone's doctrinal foundation--I disagree that it does not matter what Clement believed.
Clement was a prominent leader in one of the most prominent churches of the first century, and was a disciple of the apostles. He and his contemporaries were responsible for setting apart, preserving, and promoting the books we know as the New Testament today. I will not claim anything like Clementine inerrancy, but I do believe his epistle offers an excellent window into what ideas were circulating among second-generation Christians.
What if the Apostolic Fathers disagree?
If Clement says Jesus is not Divine and Igantius says He is (and I suggest Ignatius does say this--see his Epistle to the Ephesians chapter 7) what are we to make of it?
- Clement is wrong
- Ignatius is wrong
- Both are wrong (this is hardly a helpful option)
- Or our interpretation is wrong
I suggest that a fair a priori working assumption is that if we think Clement & Ignatius are in conflict it is more likely that we misunderstood something than that one or both of them misunderstood.
In the words of his mentor
Clement is widely held to have been a student of Paul, and in 1 Clement 5 gives us the earliest surviving account of Paul's martyrdom. As Clement introduces the subject of Peter & Paul's martyrdoms he says:
Let us set before us the noble examples which belong to our generation
(1 Clement 5:1)
His epistle is saturated with Pauline quotations (a helpful summary of NT quotations/allusions by Clement is available online here). Since Clement clearly has Paul on his mind, I suggest that Paul's teachings on the matter are very relevant to our analysis.
The Father put all things (except Himself) under the Son
From 1 Corinthians 15:
24 Then cometh the end, when he [Christ] shall have delivered up the
kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule
and all authority and power.
25 For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet.
27 For he hath put all things under his feet. But when he saith all
things are put under him, it is manifest that he is excepted, which
did put all things under him.
28 And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son
also himself be subject unto him [the Father] that put all things
under him, that God may be all in all.
Note also the similar ideas presented in Ephesians 1 which refers to:
the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory (verse 17)
and indicates that it is the Father who
hath put all things under his (Christ's) feet (verse 22)
Here the deference of Jesus to the Father is clear, as it was throughout Jesus' ministry.
To us there is One God
If I had to pick a single passage in all scripture that is probably on Clement's mind as he dictates the verse in the OP to his scribe, it would be Paul's teachings to the very same Corinthian church that he (Clement) is addressing now:
5 For though there be that are called gods, whether in heaven or in
earth, (as there be gods many, and lords many,)
6 But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things,
and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and
we by him. (1 Corinthians 8:5-6)
If I may be so bold as to say so, I don't think Clement's words in 59:4 add anything theologically beyond what Paul has already told the Corinthians.
To those who take 1 Cor. 8:5-6 as a denial of Jesus' Deity, Clement won't move the needle. To those who do not take 1 Cor. 8:5-6 as a denial of Jesus' Deity, Clement won't move the needle the other way either.
My own view is that Paul does not deny the Deity of Christ, but acknowledges Christ's deference to the Father. Paul makes a distinction between the Father and the Son and their roles in eternity, while acknowledging the unity they have in their mission.
Some Academic Honesty
If the passage from Clement in the OP and the passages of Paul cited above were all we had to go on--no Old Testament, no Emmanuel from Matthew, no Gospel of John, no Hebrews, no Jewish worldview about sonship, etc (in my case "etc" includes a belief in modern revelation too)...I would agree that the Deity of Christ is not clearly evident.
My belief in the Deity of Christ informs my interpretation of Clement, not the other way around.
Context--Clement is saying a prayer
Going back a few lines shows that Clement is in fact uttering a prayer to God, and I will include just a few more words for the context I will support in my conclusion:
Let all the Gentiles know that Thou art the God alone, and Jesus
Christ is Thy Son, and we are Thy people and the sheep of Thy pasture.
Clement isn't explicitly teaching--he is praying that the Gentiles will learn the truth.
Clement is calling attention to the (usually) polytheistic Gentiles. It is against that background that Clement's words (to me) make the most sense. Whereas the Greeks have to worry about pleasing Zeus, and Poseidon, and Hades, and hope they don't offend Athena in the process, and so on--their worship goes in multiple directions to competing gods--Clement, like Paul did before, is observing:
- A distinction between the God Father and Jesus Christ
- The deference the Son shows to the Father
- The authority of the Son comes from the Father
- The worship of a Christian goes in one direction
To paraphrase Clement--in a way in which I see no conflict with Igantius, let alone the New Tesatment--I would suggest:
May the Gentiles--whose worship goes in multiple directions--learn that true worship of God goes in only one direction. We believe in God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ, We are the flock of God the Father and Jesus Christ--we cannot truly worship one without worshipping the other, and we cannot please one without pleasing the other.