The Screwtape Letters
Letters from a senior to a Junior devil
by C.S. Lewis Collins, London, 1942
Since the “Good Book” was reviewed in The Nation, in the interests of unobjectivity I decided to review this 160-page milestone of theology in an effort to help or hinder those still beset by doubts and hesitation in their religious experience.
Screwtape, an elderly devil, as the main character often has a witty and profound analysis of Christian strengths and weaknesses. He outlines these in letters to his young nephew, Wormwood.
As the man the devil is tempting joins a church the letters become increasingly helpful to the junior devil, yet have an interesting tone to them.
For example, when people start to work on something they are disappointed it wasnl easier. About this, Screwtape writes: “The Enemy (God) allows this disappointment to occur on the threshold of every human endeavour. It occurs when the boy who has been enchanted to in the nursery by Stories from the Odyssey buckles down to really learning Greek. It occurs when lovers have got married and begin the real task of learning to live together. In every department of life it marks the transition from dreaming aspiration to laborious doing.”
Screwtape says the “Enemy” allows this because of free choice and this is one of God’s greatest weaknesses because it allows the devils to tempt man.
It is also one of God’s greatest strengths because if a person makes it through without succumbing to the temptations then he or she is much stronger in their faith.
Though this book was written in the 1940’s it is of use to today’s Christians who wish to better themselves in the worship of the Creator.
Now why would someone like me write this book review, you ask? It’s quite simple and obvious; a little devil made me do it. Read the book and find out why. I stand excused for my actions and hope for the best.