C. S. Lewis on the Need for Plain English Preaching

“In both [England and America] an essential part of the ordination exam ought to be a passage from some recognized theological work set for translation into vulgar English—just like doing Latin prose. Failure on this exam should mean failure on the whole exam. It is absolutely disgraceful that we expect missionaries to the Bantus to learn Bantu, but never ask whether our missionaries to the Americans or English can speak American or English. Any fool can write learned language. The vernacular is the real test. If you can’t turn your faith into it, then either you don’t understand it or you don’t believe it.”


C. S. Lewis, published in The Christian Century, 31 December 1958, pp. 1006-1007. Cited by Bradford Mercer.

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