Sunday, February 24, 2008

Guest Book Review: The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis

Here is another in my series of guest book reviews, this time by my brother Matthew. He has gained renewed interest in his school work this year, and diligently labored to produce this review of a book he read as part of our Bible curriculum. Encouraging comments, please!

The Screwtape Letters

This book is a supposed correspondence between a devil and his young, inexperienced nephew. The main focus of the letters is the advice and reprimands given by the uncle, on the progress (or lack thereof) of the nephew in tempting a young man.

Although this story seems to set the young man in and around the numerous life changing events of World War II (which causes no little excitement to the young devil), the author does not mention it specifically. The author does mention in the preface, that some of the events might seem to correspond with that time in history.

Even though this story can be fascinating, a warning to the reader is made in the preface, “There are two equal and opposite errors into which our race can fall about devils. One is to disbelieve in their existence. The other is to believe, and to feel an excessive and unhealthy interest in them”. This warning is a real and essential one.

While reading I also noticed the parallels between the things I have faced and the temptations the young devil challenged the man with. No matter what the devil did, something or someone always countered it. This detail reminded me that through Christ you can overcome any temptation. There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.”– 1 Corinthians 10:13-14.

1 comment:

Charles Siboto said...

Good stuff bro'. I'm still doing battle with Lewis' Problem of Pain but Broadcast Talks, Mere Christianity (this one does wonders for me each time I read it) and Screwtape Letters are on my re-read list for the week. There's an essay titled Srewtape Proposes a Toast that's also with pursuing... in fact here it is!

The trick is to read and apply. To qoute some very nefarious people, "Field is key!" Apply what you read.