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THESIS FOR THE YEAR
 

 



NOMINALISM

Perhaps, the biggest problem, confronting the Churches today is the problem of Nominalism. It is almost akin to having players’ in a Football team who without knowing what the real priorities of their team are, keep shooting the ball towards their own goal rather than towards that of their opponent & now add to this scenario the possibility of such players’ being in majority & you get an inkling of the gargantuan size of the problem.
  Firstly, appreciating the fact that it is not a easy problem to be solved, I have aimed to view the problem in its entirety & tried to arrive at some solutions which when implemented in true spirit would certainly alleviate this problem to an extent.

For better & easier understanding, I have put my thoughts under the following separate subjects
  1. NOMINALISM – A DEFINITION
  2. STRENGTHS OF NOMINALISM (Strange as this tittle, may seem)
  3. WHAT CAN WE CHRISTIANS DO NOW?
& a conscious attempt has been made to present the material, in the manner , a person would communicate ‘in a no holds barred’ manner with his old, trusted friend.

 


I.  NOMINALISM – A DEFINITION

Nominalism – Who is a Nominal Christain?: To this question, we would echo with one voice , ‘ A Christian, in name only wearing a mask of Christianity’ & quote Romans 8: 9. While, there is no denial to the fact that the definition of a Nominal Christian in Romans 8:9 (a person, in whom the Spirit of Christ does not reside) is apt, before we go any further even by a proverbial step , let us pose a few questions’ to ourselves especially those of us who have been ‘Born again’ Christians for a very long period.
 
 
  • Was I not also a nominal Christian once?
  • Was anyone in this world, born as a Christian? Every one becomes one, we would say.
If it is so? Which in fact, it is, it should humble all of us enough to look at all nominal Christians’ as ones who are in need of ‘redemption’, in the same way we needed it one day in our lives without harboring in anyway ‘A holier than thou’ feeling in us towards them. Let the realization that we too were Nominal Christians once & that the Nominal Christians today can become Christians* tomorrow, be the cornerstone of all our discussions/plans/actions et al, as we grapple with the problem of Nominalism.

The above words of caution apply specifically to our attitude towards Nominal Christians’ outside our close family circles since for Nominal Christians within our Family circles, our own, natural, deep love for them would at most times make us act sympathetically whereas for those outside our family circles, weak as we are, there is a risk of our silly prejudices marring our proper vision.
 
  * This word is being used advisedly- instead of the word ‘True Christian’ since I believe there is no need to qualify a Christian in whom the spirit of Christ resides (Romans 8: 9), as much as there is a need to qualify a Nominal Christian. In fact, Christian, is a Christian, is a Christian, is a Christian, as such the word ‘True Christian’ is a misnomer.

As we embark on our mission ‘ Operation NO Nominalism’ or should I say ‘Operation MINIMIZE Nominalism’, in the context of the fact that ‘No nominalism or Zero Nominalism’ scenario can only be observed in Heaven, let us ‘firstly’ play the Good General/Fisherman of sizing up our enemy/fish – A LENGHTHY EXERCISE NO DOUBT, BUT WORTH THE TROUBLE-, who is very strong, before attacking him or should I say fishing for him. For simplicity of understanding, I have likened the exercise of converting the Nominal Christians to ‘Fishing’ at times & at times to a ‘Battle’. Mind you, Nominalism of a Nominal Christian is our problem & not that person himself. Let me forewarn that as I next dwell on the ‘Strengths of Nominalism’, I would be realistic to the point of being a bittersweet as any friend would to a old friend while speaking on a subject serious to both of them. I feel amongst the distinguished group of mature & understanding Christians who would be reading this material there is no need for me to sound ‘Politically correct’, at all times.
 
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