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The Screwtape Letters

by C.S. Lewis



The Screwtape Letters is a classic by all its own rights. Letters within these pages brought me to a wonderment of how the enemy uses such subtle details in my life to draw me away from my faith.


The fictitious story begins with the demon uncle, Screwtape, writing encouragement to his nephew, Wormwood, who has only just begun his work on earth to deter humans from having a relationship with God, referred to in the letters as "the Enemy". Yes, the 'E' is capitalized wherever the uncle speaks of our Creator. The humans being closely watched and influenced are the "patients". (Oh, this nomenclature could send me on a rabbit trail.) Each letter gives the reader some insight into how the nephew is performing in his job. As it progresses, there is less encouragement and more belittlement. I don't wish to give away too much of the story as this is a book you really must read for yourself. Fiction or not, it gave me a lot to think about in my own christian walk, as I hope it will you as well.


To us a human is primarily food; our aim is the absorption of its will into ours, the increase of our own area of selfhood at its expense. But the obedience which the Enemy demands of men is quite a different thing. One must face the fact that all the talk about His love for men, and His service being perfect freedom, is not (as one would gladly believe) mere propaganda, but an appalling truth. He really does want to fill the universe with a lot of loathsome little replicas of Himself--creatures whose life, on its miniature scale, will be qualitatively like His own, not because He has absorbed them but because their wills freely conform to His. We want cattle who can finally become food; He wants servants who can finally become sons. We want to suck in, He wants to give out. We are empty and would be filled; He is full and flows over. (pp. 38-39)


This is but one passage which I would love to share with you, but I dare not make this too lengthy or to give away too much, thereby deterring you from reading it, and being impacted by it, yourself. Allow me to add that if you are looking for a quick read, you may be fooled as I was. Most letters (chapters) are five pages or less; however, this is a satire and I found I would enter into reading with the thought I would read for 10 or 15 minutes, only to find that the letter required me to re-read to truly let the words register what the uncle was proposing. I would then find myself deliberating how I have been influenced in the past with the very type of persuasion and how easily our true enemy can draw us into a self-serving, self-satisfying lifestyle which separates us from God's provisions--His unfailing love and a peace we cannot find anywhere on this earth but in His presence.


My only regret in reading this book is that I did not read it sooner in my Christian walk.


"Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world." 1 Peter 5:8-9, ESV

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