I am not introducing a discussion of nominalism as a philosophic claim, or the variety of usages in scientific fields, but only as it attaches itself to valued realities which occur in groups. These valued realities have names but often the value is claimed by having the name only.
In political circles, a RINO ("Republican In Name Only") is a negative description. (Could there be a positive nominalism anywhere?)
How would one create nominalism?
It quite easy in fact. You become convinced or convince another that certain acts or claims attain to an actuality so named when, in fact, they do not. You or they, (and the more "they" the better for that helps convince all that the life of the fake is the life of the real) live and insist that you enjoy the complete claims of the real. Those who are the real are told they are not being sufficiently ecumenical (Christians) and are dividing the party (Republicans).
How, if one wanted to, would you go about creating a nominal Republican/Christian?
I mean if you intended to do it.
1] Get them to register as a member, going through whatever rites are normative.
2] Have them go to the expected meetings.
3] Encourage them to speak in the the special terms current in the party.
4] Invoke the past heroes of said party.
5] Express shock and offense if any suggest the above is insufficient.
Would such a nefarious plot be any different than what you are doing now?
Republicans tolerate the RINOs because they want the gains a broader party will bring. In a sense this is the "positive" nominalism that I wondered if possible earlier. But an actual, ideological Republican feels so dirty when someone calls Senator Arlen Specter a Republican.
When you think that a real Christian is one who has passed from death to life at the end of a repentant road by giving their will up on the altar of Christ's great sacrifice, don't you feel just as dirty when you look at the local Christian school or youth group or congregation of evangelicals and call the whole motley crew Christians? Walk the aisle, baptize the baby, sign the card, and even attend a concert or go on a youth mission trip. Everybody will start calling you a Christian regardless of how dark your life is. We so desperately want to count these patent unbelievers as on our team, we shore up the great magics of nominalization. We think that nominal is the Christian marijuana. It is the entry drug. The entry from fake to real, some believe, is a seamless transition, like taking more of the drug. Will it be because they have such fun faking the Christian life that they will want to have the greater fun of a real Christian life? With drugs, a little bit of the real thing is the real thing. The marijuana gets you stoned and heroin gets you more stoned. Nominalism has none of the real but the name.
I remember in high school some dopers trying to sell (successfully) chopped up maple leaves in a baggie into which they had blown marijuana smoke. It was no entry drug. No one got stoned. But what if the deceived thought he had as good as it got? His claims of how ripped he became would be the laugh of the true doping contingent. And the dopers would make easy money off the abundance of maple trees hereabouts. Pretty soon, most of the dopers would be nominal "dopers", and the real experience of being high would be lost in the social cult of maple leaf smoking dorks.
The transition from this nominalism, this Christianity for dorks, this unimpressive fake, is not seamless nor is it merely an enjoyed step deeper. A fake Christian must come to know the damnable state of the fake Christian, the blasphemy of its claims, the apostasy of a Gospel which brought them "in" without belief in the work of Jesus Christ for their sins? He must say "I've been smoking maple leaves because someone who looked like they knew what was going on told me that the smell of the real made it real." Will they become a real Christian at last, like all who are real Christians became them, by repenting, believing, and calling on the name of the Lord?
But if you call yourself a Jew and rely upon the law and boast of your relation to God and know his will and approve what is excellent, because you are instructed in the law, and if you are sure that you are a guide to the blind, a light to those who are in darkness, a corrector of the foolish, a teacher of children, having in the law the embodiment of knowledge and truth -- you then who teach others, will you not teach yourself? While you preach against stealing, do you steal? You who say that one must not commit adultery, do you commit adultery? You who abhor idols, do you rob temples? You who boast in the law, do you dishonor God by breaking the law? For, as it is written, "The name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you." Circumcision indeed is of value if you obey the law; but if you break the law, your circumcision becomes uncircumcision. So, if a man who is uncircumcised keeps the precepts of the law, will not his uncircumcision be regarded as circumcision? Then those who are physically uncircumcised but keep the law will condemn you who have the written code and circumcision but break the law. For he is not a real Jew who is one outwardly, nor is true circumcision something external and physical. He is a Jew who is one inwardly, and real circumcision is a matter of the heart, spiritual and not literal. His praise is not from men but from God.