Screwtape's "How To"
Updated: Sep 21, 2020
Today I'm going to tell you about a book I enjoyed called "The Screwtape Letters" which was written by C.S. Lewis. This book was written in a satirical format and is different from any other book I've read, including other C.S. Lewis books. I liked this story a good bit and I hope other people who take the time to read it will not only love it, but also learn from it.
The book starts when a young demon named Wormwood is given his first human "patient" to covert. Because the demon has no experience, his uncle, Screwtape, decides to send him letters giving Wormwood "friendly" advice on how to successfully torment the patient. Even though Screwtape is tolerant with his defiant nephew, Wormwood often doesn't listen which gets on the uncle's nerves. The main disagreement between them is Wormwood wants to covert his patient away from God quickly using dramatic measures, while Screwtape advises the demon to progressively turn him over to evil using more discrete attempts. I think Screwtape explains his intentions very well in this quote from the book:
“Indeed the safest road to Hell is the gradual one - the gentle slope, soft underfoot, without sudden turnings, without milestones, without signposts." - Screwtape
When Wormwood first gets assigned "the patient", the man is neither leaning toward God nor towards Satan, but due to Wormwood's lack of care, he becomes a Christian and starts leaning toward Jesus. Once Screwtape finds out about his nephew's mistake, he becomes very disappointed in Wormwood and looses his temper with him. Not long after that, the young demon lets his patient marry a solid Christian woman and the cycle continues by Screwtape getting even angrier and more disappointed at his hard headed nephew...
I would give "The Screwtape Letters" 4 out of 5 stars because even though it was a bit too strange for my taste, I think it's a great book to learn from. Overall, I liked the idea of satan's minions writing letters to each other on how to "destroy" us because I have never thought about how they would communicate with one another.
I believe C.S. Lewis decided to write this book so that Christians will be able to know some of the techniques the enemy will use to lead God's sheep astray and how to resist them. Personally, what I learned from this book is that when you're on God's path, Satan doesn't want to harm a hair on your head until he has lead you into the darkness and then he will steal, kill and destroy.
Please let me know in the comments if you've read this classic and if you learned anything from reading it.