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Luke 9:35 is

And a voice came from the cloud, saying, “This is My Son, whom I have chosen. Listen to Him!”

The concept of 'choosing' entails a chronological sequence of events, where one is initially not chosen, and then is chosen.

For Christians who believe Jesus was eternally begotten as the Son, how do they explain the idea that the Father chose Jesus?

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    jaredad7's answer already more-or-less covers this, but... I think you're over-thinking. "Chosen" just means God had a plan. Also, the creed doesn't say Jesus was "begotten from eternity" but "begotten before all worlds", i.e. God knew His plan before He started Creating. But maybe that's just me over-reading your well known Unitarianism into the question 🙂, where actually Jesus' "begottenness" is irrelevant and the question is really whether God's plan of Salvation existed eternally or had some temporal starting point.
    – Matthew
    Commented Aug 25, 2022 at 17:43
  • @Matthew Yes, it certainly ties into questions of God's plan - was there a point where an eternally begotten Son wasn't chosen becomes a relevant question. Commented Aug 25, 2022 at 17:45
  • @Matthew So here I suppose we get a question "Chosen as what?" Whether the 'choosing' has to do with being the unique Son, or whether it has to do with being the Christ as distinguished from being the unique Son, say. Commented Aug 25, 2022 at 17:50
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    A good answer to this question should also apply to Luke 23:35, which uses a similar expression: "Christ, the chosen of God", using the same Greek word. Commented Aug 26, 2022 at 12:28
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    To supplement jaredad7's metaphysical answer, another line of explanation maybe more congenial to you is the narrative purpose of the Gospel of Luke, and thus what "chosen" would have meant for the audience. A book I'm skimming through The Son of God in the Roman World: Divine Sonship in its Social and Political Context is relevant to your Q here: Chapter 1: Divine Sonship Before Nicea - Biblical Scholarship on "Son of God") has excellent review of 4 clusters of meaning, Chapter 5: Begotten and Adopted Sons of God - Before and after Nicea), etc. Commented Aug 26, 2022 at 13:38

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Your premise about choosing is inaccurate. Or, at least, it doesn't apply universally to all Christian views of God, even all traditional Christian views of God. Under a Boethian understanding of God's perspective, God's choosing would never be part of a chronology, but totally separate from any temporal sequence of events. This is because all moments are eternally present to God. He exists in what is commonly called today the "eternal now."

Anyone who holds to the Boethian view would easily answer your question by saying that the Son was chosen eternally, rather than being in some sense initially "not chosen" and later "chosen."

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  • +1 So on this view, 'chosen' is being used in an almost completely unique sense here, like 'begotten' is used? Commented Aug 25, 2022 at 17:29
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    Yes. In fact, for many Catholics (any Thomists, and probably some non-thomists), all of the actions and qualities predicated of God are used only in an analogous sense, and are thus completely unique to God alone.
    – jaredad7
    Commented Aug 25, 2022 at 17:30

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