Most of you would agree without any argument that one of the greatest crisis that Christianity faces today is nominal Christianity. Nominal Christianity is defined by those who proclaim the name Christian, yet remain uncommitted. One of the distinctions that the term “evangelical” has sought to claim over the last fifty years is just the opposite of nominalism.Â Evangelicals are those that not only believe the truths of the Christian worldview, but live according to those beliefs. Although the relevance of the term “evangelical” as a bearer of this distinction is the subject of great debate, the understanding of its opposite, nominalism, is still a problem. (Although I would credit the problems within Evangelicalism not to commitment, but to a deteriorating distinction in worldview).
The nominalist is very difficult to understand. Some who are nominal Christians know themselves to be such and just don’t know how to make the “turn” to a passionate commitment to Christ. Frustration, confusion, doubt, skepticism, and just a general lack of passion can all be seen as causes for nominalism. I know of someone who is very close to me who simply cannot understand why they don’t have as much commitment to Christ as they do to other things that fill their thoughts. Nominalism is best expressed by a lack of commitment, or better, commitments that are more important to them than their commitment to God.
In your experience among the people you know who are nominal in their commitment to God (and this could be you), what do you believe the reasons are?