The Screwtape Letters ★★★★½

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Title: The Screwtape Letters
Series: ———-
Author: C.S. Lewis
Rating: 4.5 of 5 Stars
Genre: Non-fiction/Theology
Pages: 138
Words: 37K


From Wikipedia

In The Screwtape Letters, Lewis imagines a series of lessons in the importance of taking a deliberate role in Christian faith by portraying a typical human life, with all its temptations and failings, seen from devils’ viewpoints. Screwtape holds an administrative post in the bureaucracy (“Lowerarchy”) of Hell, and acts as a mentor to his nephew Wormwood, an inexperienced (and incompetent) tempter.

In the 31 letters which constitute the book, Screwtape gives Wormwood detailed advice on various methods of undermining God’s words and of promoting abandonment of God in “the Patient”, interspersed with observations on human nature and on the Bible. In Screwtape’s advice, selfish gain and power are seen as the only good, and neither demon can comprehend God’s love for man or acknowledge human virtue.

My Thoughts:

This is a very short book at only 138 pages. With there being 31 chapters, it is easy to read one here, read one there and go from there. I read this in one sitting, as I hadn’t read this since my teen or Bibleschool days, and I wanted to eat the thing in one go.

I found this easy to assimilate. The ideas behind what Screwtape was talking about are easy to reverse to get the correct message. Lewis does an admirable job of presenting the wrong view to showcase just what the right view should be. I don’t envy him though, trying to write a book by a demon.

One thing that did stick out to me was Screwtape saying how they wished all humans were either atheists or magicians (occultists in my terminology). To either not believe in the devil at all or to believe in him so much that one becomes entrapped. I wonder if Lewis put that in there so that anyone reading this wouldn’t be tempted to dig deeper into the occult to “learn” about demons and such. Lewis didn’t write this so people could learn about demons, but so that they could learn about Jesus. In that regards I simply disregarded everything whenever Screwtape started talking about hell and anything related to that subject. I differ enough from Lewis anyway in how we think of hell so it wasn’t a problem for me.

This would be a great study book, as each chapter is so short. Read one chapter, take notes and then discuss with others. Next time I read this, I certainly won’t be rushing through it in one sitting. As I’m sitting here, I’m actively considering reading it again next year and making it a Project.


26 thoughts on “The Screwtape Letters ★★★★½

    1. I’ll be talking about that when I read his next book, the Great Divorce. I’m hoping to get to that next month.

      But the biggest thing is that Lewis believes in the immortality of the soul and I do not.

      Liked by 2 people

    1. I’ve really been enjoying my re-read of Lewis. I’ve changed so much since the last time that it has been wonderful to experience this as the mature me. Of course, it does mean I don’t take everything he says without questions, but that means I’m thinking about it a little more too. So it’s all good 😀


      1. Curiosity, mostly 😀 not a school thing, or anything like that. A colleague was reading it and having read some non-Narnia Lewis’s stuff before I decided to give it a try.

        Liked by 1 person

            1. I’d like to see what you thought of it, but it sounds like it was long enough ago that it’s not on ReEW (how DO you abbreviate your blogs name? I know you’ve done it, but I can’t remember now)

              Liked by 1 person

              1. We usually write Re-E 😄 Were not ones for proper acronyms, but since it’s our blog we’re fine! 🤣 You’re right, the review’s not there. At the time of reading I thought it was nice, quite witty, entertaining, and a bit too preachy 😉 Having read Lewis’s The Discarded Image before I guess I expected something more along these lines.

                But if you’re curious, my absolutely favorite book by a theologian is Niebuhr’s The Irony of American History 😀

                Liked by 1 person

                1. Thanks. I knew there were 2 “E”s in there somehow 😀

                  I’ve never heard of his Discarded Image. Hmmm, I’m off to check that out. Oh, it’s not a theology book, that explains it. And I can understand your reaction better now too 😀

                  And since Niebuhr was of the Reformed theology, I think I might go see what I can dig up by him. Fantastic!


    1. Narnia isn’t PC enough to get any publisher pushing here and now. And with it’s outright validation of Christianity, well, there’s another nail.

      What I find amazing is how the same author can write Narnia and have all age groups enjoy it and still write theologically oriented books like this. I consider him a fantastic “every man” theologian…

      Liked by 1 person

        1. Ahhh, gotcha.

          For some reason, I confused myself and was thinking you were talking about the Great Divorce. Sigh.

          Yes, you are completely correct. In one of the editions Lewis talks about how writing this just made him feel dirty and filthy inside and out and that he’d never do something like this again.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Ohh, that’s alright haha. And wow, it makes so everything so much more interesting when you know the author’s reaction to THEIR book, and in this case, it’s kind of weird. But nevermind, every experience is for the better after all! Have a good day!

            Liked by 1 person

            1. I think Lewis realized that immersing his mind in the demonic mindset was the very antithesis of what being a Christian was all about. God warns us about playing around with the spiritual and I think Lewis learned that lesson the hard way.

              Liked by 1 person

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