CS Lewis’ The Screwtape Letters

The Screwtape Letters The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I just finished C.S. Lewis’ the Screwtape Letters and have a few thoughts to record.

Lewis waited a few reasons to write “Screwtape Proposes a Toast,” also included in the edition that I read. His reason for waiting was that he found it difficult to put himself in a devil’s mindset, which struck me; I feel like parody came natural to him, but the attitude behind it was difficult, whereas out attitude is suited to parody to the point where it is overdone.

Screwtape urges Wormwood to have the Patient focus on the stream of everyday stimuli so as to distract him from the eternal questions posed (and answered, according to some) by Christianity. And yet the Enemy (god) wants us to think about the Present (as opposed to the Past or the Future). Lewis gets away with this by suggesting that god perceives eternity as we perceive the present. But any discussion of an all-knowing god makes the idea of free will impossible. Lewis is pretty sneaky, but he’s got some trouble getting off the theological merry-go-round.

The sin of Delicacy vs the Sin of Excess cut a bit close to the bone… maybe I do have some thinking to do…

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2 Responses to CS Lewis’ The Screwtape Letters

  1. Matt says:

    This is a great book, though I haven’t read it in probably ten years.

    • mikelekich says:

      I liked it much and found it to be very thoughtful and thought provoking, not least because it is the work of an avowed Christian writing in the voice of the Devil. I feel the urge to put it in a mental box that says “Would Be Great In a Class Called ‘the Purposes and Usage of Satire, MWF 905-1000,” but then I am just categorizing it rather than thinking about it. To the end of getting out of that trap, why did you like it so much? What about it did you like?

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