Question Restatement: Does John 1:1 refer to Jesus, the Word, as "The Most High", or simply god, in form, being the Son of God?
Significance of the Question: Whether it is a doctrinal condition for salvation that one must believe that "Jesus is the Most High, the Father", is WAY out of the scope of--John 1, and never even hinted at as a "Pillar Tenet of the Faith". So, force-fitting that text to assert some condition for salvation--at the very least--is an incredible distortion of that passage.
Answer: Removing all presuppositions, we know that "god/the god" is used when referring to Roman Emperors, and of course the Pantheon. So the significance of this statement, in a Greek Text, is certainly not conclusive to indicate that Jesus was believed to be the Most High, his Father ... If you apply that same logic that this passage implying that Jesus is The "Most High", then we end up interpreting "THE GOD" of "This Age", (presumably Satan), as the "Most High", because the Greek is not at all ambiguous and actually uses the definite article, and the word "god" together:
2 Cor. 4:3-4, NASB - 3 But even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, 4 whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them.
Against the Application of Colwell
See also, the related question, which discusses "subset" and "convertible" propositions, which can alternatively be applied, rather than Colwell's Rule.
It must be noted, by any casual observer, that all of the summary references to Colwell's Rule are brutally over-simplified, and don't take into account the many scholarly refutations to the application of this rule to John 1:1, (which would seems to violate his own rule) ...
In Other Words: any argument presented with the intellectualism of men, can be debated with the intellectualism of men, and is not going to evoke an inspired answer--so if this question is trying to find a divine/dogmatic response, I think this is the wrong venue to find a Prophet ...
In the end, you simply have to stick with the context of the text, and assert the "knowables", that is, the text states: (1.) Jesus is the Word of God; (2.) that Jesus, as the Son of God, by nature, and form, shares the nature and form of the Most High, (that which is born of flesh is flesh, that of the spirit, spirit; etc.
Fourth, Colwell seems to have misunderstood what a definite semantic to the noun entailed linguistically. His improper method of prescription, based on his analysis, led him to commit a category mistake by foisting a semantic upon a certain group of nouns (pre-copulative PNs) that he failed to appreciate on their own terms. Because of this, and apparently without considering the ramifications of what the semantic suggested, he applied it to John 1:1c and argued against the indefinite or qualitative sense. But this was an improper use of his own rule, for his rule was only to be applied post hoc to nouns clearly understood to be definite from context
At issue is whether Colwell's rule applies to John 1:1 and if it is a reliable standard by which grammatical constructions of this type should be measured. It has been pointed out that Colwell's rule does not help by determining definiteness. Rodney J. Decker stated, "it has often been misused by well-intentioned defenders of the deity of Christ."
Daniel B. Wallace argues that the use of the anarthrous theos (the lack of the definite article before the second theos) is due to its use as a qualitative noun, describing the nature or essence of the Word, not due to Colwell's rule.
From Wikipedia, John 1:1.
Robbery, or Not Robbery?
In the end, presuppositions and bias pollute this entire debate.
Try picking between completely contradictory translations, both of which assert that Christians are to share the same viewpoint as Jesus, regarding his own nature:
Phil 2:5, NKJV - Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, 6 who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God,
Phil 2:5, NASB - who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped,
Jesus' Own Words, His Own Defense, John 10:33-36
Translators capitalize the word "God" here, in this text, yet there is no definite article.
But regardless, Jesus explicitly goes on to clarify that he is simply saying that he was the Son of God, he certainly is not equating himself with God :
John 10:36, NASB - do you say of Him, whom the Father sanctified and sent into the world, 'You are blaspheming,' because I said, 'I am the Son of God '?
The idea of multiple gods is not at all foreign to Scripture, or that people are "gods" as well, (John 10:34). The idea that Jesus said this in sarcasm, in defense to stop people from killing him, is soundly disproven by referring to the source of that quote, where God was judging Israel because they were neglecting the week, the needy, afflicted, fatherless, neglecting even justice, in Psalms 82:6--It is not possible to infer this passage was sarcastic.