Wednesday, July 29, 2009

The Screwtape Letters By C.S. Lewis

I recently finished up reading The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis. This is a fictional book that is about 209 pages with Screwtape Proposes a Toast at the end. Here is what the back of the book tells you:

A timeless classic on "Hell's latest novelties and Heaven's unanswerable answer." A masterpiece of satire, this classic has entertained and enlightened readers the world over with its sly and ironic portrayal of a human life and foibles from the vantage point of Screwtape, a highly placed assistant to "Our Father Below." At once wildly comic, deadly serious, and strikingly original, C.S. Lewis gives us the correspondence of the worldly-wise old devil to his nephew Wormwood, a novice demon in charge of securing the damnation of an ordinary young man. The Screwtape Letters is the most engaging account of temptation-and triumph over it-ever written.(End quote)

In the beginning of the book the author gives you a preface for the reader that these letters happened to come into his possession and he is merely sharing them with us. He tells us we must remember how big a liar the devil is and will be in these letters. I thought it was nice for him to add this in the beginning to warn those deciding to take the plunge into this devilish correspondence. I have to say it wasn't my favorite but I was entertained by some of it and definitely don't think this book is for everyone. It certainly does speak the truth, I believe that the devil isn't just trying to get us to sin but rather be complacent with what's going on in our lives so that we don't think we need God. This book reminds us that it is a win for the devil when he convinces a person that he's a "good" person and doesn't need God or believes he better than others. I do believe that what the back of the book says is correct in that this book is timeless and transcends generations. The setting of this book is back from 1942 when WWII was taking place and the truths in it are still today. I don't want to get into politics but something that struck me in this book, I want to share with you that is in the news often during this day and time. I marked to reference a spot where Screwtape is writing to Wormwood,

"About the general connection between Christianity and politics, our position is more delicate. Certainly we do not want men to allow their Christianity to flow over into their politic life, for the establishment of anything like a really just society would be a major disaster. On the other hand we do want, and want very much, to make men treat Christianity as a means; preferably, of course, as a means to their own advancement, but, failing that, as a means to anything-even to social justice."

See any connections with the way today's politics and attempts at the silence of Christians is going? Just food for thought. Or there is another part where Screwtape is giving his toast but it is a little bit to long for me to type. It is talking about democracy and communism and the devil's "take" on it all. Pretty interesting stuff when you think about today's political/government climate. I have to say that this will probably not be a book club selection as I am in agreement with some others who have read it at the church and don't feel that it would be a good one for most people. I would recommend it personally though as it can open your eyes to some things that you may have felt yourself doing or others doing without noticing. Maybe cause you to snap back awake to what's going on in the physical/spiritual world around you. If you have any thoughts or decide to read it and want to share, as always please let me know. Happy Reading!

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