Why “the language of East Enders, not Shakespeare” is actually dated, not modern.
The latest development from the Church of England is that the Archbishop of Canterbury has recommended changes to the language used in baptisms. Some concerned Anglicans have pointed out that this has been done by removing all language of theological significance—so if the changes are approved, you could be baptized an Anglican Christian without actually believing anything Christian. Supporters argue that the changes are merely aesthetic and will make the baptism easier to understand. You can read the Daily Mail link above for the arguments on each side; I need not repeat them here.
What I thought was interesting was a phrase the supporters of the changes are using: that they wanted to use the language of East Enders, not Shakespeare.
You see, one doesn’t need biblical arguments to question the wisdom of the new changes. This choice of phrase provides an excellent vehicle for examining, sociologically and psychologically, why it’s amazing the Archbishop’s office thinks these sorts of changes will help the Church.
There’s extensive anecdotal evidence the church could have considered, of course. For some decades now, many British Anglican and American Episcopal leaders have tried to get somebody to show up at their church services by emptying them of any content that could be divisive or off-putting—it’s a sort of 1990s liberal approach, that views sectarianism as primitive and universalism as the future.
Obviously, it has far from worked. The trouble with it is that social scientists have proven it utterly and dangerously wrong.
Read on here.