Plausible Missionaries

Preaching the Gospel in a Language “Understanded of the People”

by Louis R. Tarsitano

In one of the many dystopian movies of the early 1970s, the hero, in the last line of dialogue, announces a horrific discovery. “Soylent Green,” the food product of the title, “is made from people.”

A quarter century later, whether it horrifies us or not, orthodox Christians must confront a real-life fact that many of our heterodox opponents have assimilated. For the foreseeable future, the language that communicates to ordinary men and women (the language “understanded of the people” as the XXIVth Anglican Article of Religion puts it) “is made from people.”

How this culture moved from using words, facts, and arguments . . .

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Louis R. Tarsitano (d. 2005), a former associate editor of Touchstone, was a priest of the Anglican Church in America and rector of St. Andrew?s Church in Savannah, Georgia. He also was the co-author, with Peter Toon, of Neither Archaic Nor Obsolete: The Language of Common Prayer & Public Worship (Brynmill Press, Ltd., 2003).

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