|WikiProject Christianity||(Rated Start-class, Low-importance)|
|A fact from Anonymous Christian appeared on Wikipedia's Main Page in the Did you know? column on 26 July 2007. The text of the entry was as follows: "Did you know
Well, usually when somebody proposes a merge, they start the discussion off with an explanation as to why they think it is necessary. I don't see that discussion here or elsewhere. So, I'll go ahead and start it here. I would oppose this merge. Theological Terms often have distinct nuiances. While I am not familiar with the term Virtuous pagan I am familiar with Anonymous Christian. Anonymous Christian appears to be a broader term, but is specific to the theology of Karl Rahner and the Catholic Church as it evolved out of Vatican II. Virtuous pagan has a slightly different meaning and is not quite the same. I think separate articles, that reference each other, is by far and away the best way to go. For example, here is a key difference, Virtuous pagan is about non-believers/non-Christians. Anonymous Christian includes Christians who are not Catholic. Another key difference is that the term pagan generally doesn't apply to the other major world religions, Anonymous Christian does. A third difference is the mechanism of salvation. Virtuous paganism places them in limbo until the return of Christ. Anonymous Christianity offers the possibility of salvation despite the persons never hearing or accepting the word "Christ." These are distinct theological concepts.---Balloonman NO! I'm Spartacus! 15:03, 15 January 2010 (UTC)
I appreciate this. The point is that the concept is the same in essence, and that both articles are very short. There would be no harm in combining them, and the content from "Anonymous Christian" would still be kept together in an "Anonymous Christian" section. I believe it would help put the information in context. Precisely your comparison of the two terms will only become possible in a merged article, or else it would have to be duplicated and occur in both. A merge suggestion does not imply that the two topics are identical, but simply that they would profit from being discussed in a single article. But it is not a big deal. --dab (𒁳) 15:39, 15 January 2010 (UTC)
- This isn't an issue that I'm honestly going to get worked up on either way... but I just don't see it being merged. Basically, from a theological perspective, I would have a hard time putting "Anonymous Christian" as a sub-genre of Virtuous Pagan. Similarly, putting Virtuous Pagan as a category for Anonymous Christian would simply put be wrong. If one was a clear subset of the other, then I'd have no problem with the merge; as *I* see them as separate (yet similar) concepts, *I* see them as separate. Again, if others disagree and the consensus is otherwise, I'm not going to fight it... but, from a theological perspective, I think the two terms warrant separate articles.---Balloonman NO! I'm Spartacus! 16:33, 15 January 2010 (UTC)
- Another reason why I oppose this merge is because it would be a synergism... if you do a google search for "Anonymous Christian" and "Virtuous Pagan" you find less than 40 hits. Almost every one of those 40 hits are wikipedia clones of the virtuous pagan page. In other words, despite their similarities, these two terms are not one's that are often used in conjunction with one another.---Balloonman NO! I'm Spartacus! 21:31, 15 January 2010 (UTC)
I also strongly disagree with the merge. Though they may be thought to serve similar purposes or be employed for similar motivations, nonetheless these are distinctly different concepts. According to tradition, virtuous pagans are not in any way Christians nor are they already saved by the grace of Christ. To the contrary, they are consigned to either some level of hell, or limbo -- and must stay there either permanently or until Christ directly intervenes in a post-mortem experience. Anonymous Christians (acc. to Rahner) never go to hell or limbo at all and are already saved, in the here and now, by the grace of Christ. While I am not saying I personally endorse or deny either one of these doctrines, they certainly are different, and are not associated anywhere that I know of outside Wikipedia. To suggest they belong together would be a new academic thesis, a piece of original scholarship.---Tim Musgrove —Preceding undated comment added 05:50, 5 February 2010 (UTC).
In Mere Christianity, C. S. Lewis wrote, "We do know that no man can be saved except through Christ; we do not know that only those who know Him can be saved through Him." I rather think this passage is relevant, especially considering how influential Lewis's ideas have been. and should be quoted somewhere in the article. --BenMcLean (talk) 05:06, 7 July 2013 (UTC)