The Screwtape Letters is unique in the universe of Christian literature. It is fictitious fantasy based upon eternal fact. It is satirical, entertaining, deep, and distinctly Christian. Think of it as a series of lessons framed as correspondence between an Archangel of God and a subordinate angel who just happens to be his nephew. The higher angel mentors the newbie with tips, suggestions, and gentle corrections to help him become more effective in snatching wavering souls from Satan’s grasp.
Now reverse the scenario. The book is the correspondence senior tempter, Screwtape, carries on with his nephew Wormwood, a junior tempter. The Father is Satan and the Enemy is God. Screwtape is particularly compelling and relevant in today’s social, educational, and media culture. What good is evil and what’s evil is good.
Lewis’ famous Narnia series is Christian allegory. Some categorize The Screwtape Letters as a Christian apologetics novel. First published in 1942, the book’s 31 letters focus on understanding and resisting temptation.
If you like to be challenged this is a good read for you. What is “black” is actually “white.” The Screwtape Letters is a masterful example of calling evil good and good evil (Isaiah 5:20). The collection of correspondence is entertaining, thought-provoking, and lends itself well to individual or group study.
The value of the book lies in it’s clues to human nature and how easily we are tempted by deception. How are rational humans led to deny the truth of God? Uncle Screwtape describes strategy and application.
This title should be on the must read list of all who seek greater understanding of what seem to be mysteries of the God of the Bible. Each chapter is written as a letter so you can read a bit at a time or devour the entire volume at one sitting. Once you have the rhythm it’s a hard book to put down. Lewis provides a look at humans from the dark side of the spirit world in his singular style – with the exception of others who recognized the power of the format and adapted it to their own works.
If you want to just read through a book, turn the pages, then close the back cover without having to stop and back up a few times, then this is not the book for you. The more adventurous will love it and will be rewarded!
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