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  1. #1
    Senior Member Survive & Stay Free's Avatar
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    Default Are you an anonymous Christian?

    Or what is your feeling about the idea?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anonymous_Christian

    I am surprised that it got the endorsement of Benedict because the guy was pretty conservative, its surprising to me to discover that he was a moderate in contrast to others although I guess that perhaps that is an inevitability, everyone is someone elses moderate or militant.

  2. #2
    Senior Member cafe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    Or what is your feeling about the idea?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anonymous_Christian

    I am surprised that it got the endorsement of Benedict because the guy was pretty conservative, its surprising to me to discover that he was a moderate in contrast to others although I guess that perhaps that is an inevitability, everyone is someone elses moderate or militant.
    I couldn't be one because I've heard the Christian gospel. As a Christian, I do find that particular doctrine most appealing and hope it is so. I've read verses that seem to support it.
    “There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old’s life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.”
    ~ John Rogers

  3. #3
    Senior Member Survive & Stay Free's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cafe View Post
    I couldn't be one because I've heard the Christian gospel. As a Christian, I do find that particular doctrine most appealing and hope it is so. I've read verses that seem to support it.
    I can understand the conservative and liberal and non-RCC objections to it, although I have to say that I do think its credible, at least I would say that I dont believe what is being suggesting within it is impossible to God, all things are possible to God, including that he would choose to save those who have not heard the Jesus story or understood it as he is his intention.

  4. #4

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    I agree with and endorse the general thrust of the idea, since I cannot reconcile a loving God who would condemn people by means of a bureaucratic loophole.

    That said, I don't like the paternalistic aspect of it. Declaring someone an "anonymous Christian" without their consent strikes me as similar (in kind if not in degree) to the Mormon practice of converting people posthumously.
    Everybody have fun tonight. Everybody Wang Chung tonight.

    Johari
    /Nohari

  5. #5
    & Badger, Ratty and Toad Mole's Avatar
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    If the West is informed by Ancient Greek philosophy, Judaism, Christianity and the Enlightenment, then Westerners are culturally Greek, culturally Judaic, culturally Christian, and culturally Enlightened.

    Or we Westerners are anonymous Greeks, anonymous Jews, anonymous Christians and anonymous sons and daughters of the Enlightenment.

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    for some reason I get the impression that this concept would go hand-in-hand with pre-determinism, as the Wikipedia article says that "Non-Christians could have 'in [their] basic orientation and fundamental decision accepted the salvific grace of God'" --> in other words, some people are in their nature destined to salvation. I feel like I'm reading this wrong, so correct me if I've missed the point...and I wonder how those who believe in this would elaborate on "fundamental decision."

    the idea of universal salvation is more appealing to me. if everyone falls short of the glory of God, and yet are forgiven, why would a person's inability to believe not be forgiven? I just don't understand how nonbelief is somehow the ultimate sin, when there are so many people who want to believe in God but aren't able to.

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    Senior Member cafe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EffEmDoubleyou View Post
    That said, I don't like the paternalistic aspect of it. Declaring someone an "anonymous Christian" without their consent strikes me as similar (in kind if not in degree) to the Mormon practice of converting people posthumously.
    Yep. There's that, which is pretty obnoxious. Monotheistic religions are somewhat intrinsically obnoxious like that, from what I know of them, though.
    “There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old’s life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.”
    ~ John Rogers

  8. #8
    Senior Member KDude's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    Or what is your feeling about the idea?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anonymous_Christian

    I am surprised that it got the endorsement of Benedict because the guy was pretty conservative, its surprising to me to discover that he was a moderate in contrast to others although I guess that perhaps that is an inevitability, everyone is someone elses moderate or militant.
    I think the general idea (with caveats) started with the Apostle Paul. They're not "Christian", but there is a sense of vindication for some people before hearing either the Torah or Gospel.

    For when Gentiles who do not have the Law do instinctively the things of the Law, these, not having the Law, are a law to themselves, in that they show the work of the Law written in their hearts, their conscience bearing witness and their thoughts alternately accusing or else defending them, on the day when, according to my gospel, God will judge the secrets of men through Christ Jesus. (Romans 2.14-16)

    That doesn't mean they shouldn't hear anything, but in Paul's experience, an extensive traveler in his own time, he knew better than most.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Survive & Stay Free's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KDude View Post
    I think the general idea (with caveats) started with the Apostle Paul. They're not "Christian", but there is a sense of vindication for some people before hearing either the Torah or Gospel.

    For when Gentiles who do not have the Law do instinctively the things of the Law, these, not having the Law, are a law to themselves, in that they show the work of the Law written in their hearts, their conscience bearing witness and their thoughts alternately accusing or else defending them, on the day when, according to my gospel, God will judge the secrets of men through Christ Jesus. (Romans 2.14-16)

    That doesn't mean they shouldn't hear anything, but in Paul's experience, an extensive traveler in his own time, he knew better than most.
    It also relates to an earlier idea about there being such a thing as the righteous gentile and a later pre-reformation idea in Christendom about a virtueous pagan and to a certain extent is similar to natural law philosophy.

    It is interesting to me because it relates to what is it to be believe in something and act accordingly, is it the belief which brings about the behaviour or can you do the right thing or behave the right way for the wrong reason or a different reason and then does it matter if the doing or behaving is correct in any case?

    In terms of revelation I think it can be an important idea depending upon whether it is considered that this life or an afterlife or both are the gift from God, its possible to have this view through a reading of the old or new testaments or both in the Christian tradition, although it is my view that there is a creedo or set of norms theorised within those books and personified by Jesus which make for heaven and God's prescence here and now and in any other existence.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Survive & Stay Free's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by decrescendo View Post
    for some reason I get the impression that this concept would go hand-in-hand with pre-determinism, as the Wikipedia article says that "Non-Christians could have 'in [their] basic orientation and fundamental decision accepted the salvific grace of God'" --> in other words, some people are in their nature destined to salvation. I feel like I'm reading this wrong, so correct me if I've missed the point...and I wonder how those who believe in this would elaborate on "fundamental decision."

    the idea of universal salvation is more appealing to me. if everyone falls short of the glory of God, and yet are forgiven, why would a person's inability to believe not be forgiven? I just don't understand how nonbelief is somehow the ultimate sin, when there are so many people who want to believe in God but aren't able to.
    I see what you mean, I know, that could be used as the basis for some sort of theory of election or pre-destination, and I suppose that is why there are debates about such things.

    Personally I understand that as Erich Fromm does in his own interpreation (or reinterpretation depending on your opinion) of religion as providing an orientation towards life and a subject of devotion, I paraphrase and I'm not very eloquent but its something along those lines, so it could mean that someone without a framework which is explicitly Christian but which is congruent with those beliefs would be saved rather than damned, which makes sense to me.

    On the subject of belief and whether or not non-belief would be a bar towards salvation, I tend to come back to Meister Eckhart who wrote something about if someone were to die and angels were to strip them of their "life" then if they were unprepared for it and in a state of disbelief about it they would not see them as angels at all but devils, the belief would indeed effect the experience itself. There is another poem about an orange man, who also happens to be pretty sectarian, who dies and goes to heaven discovering that there are papists and popes there he is very disatisfied and becomes a ghost instead, choosing to walk the earth instead because sharing heaven with those people amounts to a personal hell for him, of his own making. Its the same idea.

    Most people who are admently non-believers, as opposed simply to disbelievers or unbelivers (nuanced meanings, I know), I think would hate to be in heaven or God's prescence or any kind of afterflife, dont you think? I dont see that God would want to or would have to torment anyone of that kind because God's simple "being" or "existence" would be sufficient to bother them, for eternity depending on how hard hearted they are about it.

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