The theory of ‘Anonymous Christian’ reflects the diverse world of theology today. The theory suggests that all human beings that have never had the chance or opportunity to hear about Christian gospel might as well get saved through Christ and the grace of God. Karl Rahner came up with this theory that has received a big share of criticism from Christians all over the world. Karl’s suggestion is based on the idea that there are many individuals in the world who are out of reach of the Christian revelation (Kilby et al., 12). However, the situation is behind their destiny or their control. For instance, a person may have been born in a society characterized with different religious practices other than Christianity. Such people could easily be Christian faithful if even at once they could hear the Christian gospel. This keeps them completely not at fault, and through the grace of God, they shall be saved.
Karl also noted that, in a normal way of life, even Christians engage in non-religious dialogues that have completely nothing to do God and Christian values. In the scriptures, this is conveyed as behaviors of interreligious concern hence a betrayal of the guiding principles of Christianity. In this concept, Karl added and embraced the notion of ‘inclusivism.’ This concept puts the Christians discussing unreligious concern under the same category with those people that have never heard of Christ. Their situation is indifferent by all means, and all will be saved in God’s grace. In stating this, Karl had in mind and accepted that it is only through Christ that a person can achieve salvation. Ultimately, Karl never accepted that condemnation will be even to those individuals who have, by any means heard about Jesus Christ.
In literary interpretation, the theory means that people live in God’s grace and they would automatically attain salvation outside the Christian church. Now a person who lives in accordance their conscience is an anonymous Christian. For the theory to be genuine, it means that other than Christianity there is an alternative path of salvation. However, an alternative path is achieved by fate, that is, out one’s completely lack of knowledge about Jesus Christ. Also, a person could deny Christianity in an explicit manner but still hold and committed to all the values described, defined and concretized under the way of Christianity. God is full of mercy. He desires to call His children under Christ so that He can communicate to them of his love revelation. However, the mercy of God does not make Him fail to be present people regardless the ways of communication. Furthermore, God is full of spiritual riches. He may utilize the in communication to His children even if the children have errors and gaps to be filled.
Karl’s theory has been received differently among the Christian religious group all over the world. This is because the majority of the Christian community perceives the notion to be against the Apostles teachings. Specifically, the teachings of Paul and Peter. These teachings are guided by Christian exclusively values and beliefs as the solitary way to salvation. The book of Acts chapter four, verse twelve illustrates this. However, due to the diversity that Christianity has become and the modern theological perception, some Christian groups considered the theory somehow valid. This group includes some members of the Catholics family among others. Though they hold the stand that Christ is the way to eternal life, they don’t fail to recognize that some people could be valid Christians without their consent (Kilby et al., 17).
Kilby, Karen. Karl Rahner: Theology and Philosophy. London: Routledge, 2004. Print.