Friday, January 16, 2009


C.S. Lewis provides an unexpected point of view in the Screwtape Letters. Each letter is written as if it were from a senior devil to his "nephew" devil, who is far less experienced. In his letters, "Uncle Screwtape" provides techniques for "Wormwood" to lure his "patient" away from the Enemy, God.

In this particular letter, Screwtape cautions Wormwood not to make any drastic steps or try to make his patient commit any major sins. Wormwood needs to make sure that his patient does not realize what is happening. "The safest road to hell is a gradual one" according to Screwtape. In other words, by making his patient become numb to little sins, he will cause him to slowly but surely fall away from his commitment to God.

One thing that stood out to me in particular was when Screwtape said that he was glad to see that the patient was still a churchgoer. C.S. Lewis is by no means saying that going to church is a bad thing. In fact I am sure that he would agree that making a habit of going to church is a wonderful thing. It is when it becomes a justification for sin that it becomes dangerous. The attitude of, "atleast I am still going to church," is a dangerous attitude to have. We must not blind ourselves to our sins by thinking that we are still doing some things right so it is alright to commit the little sins every once and awhile.

The last thing that stood out to me was how proper and intelligent C.S. Lewis makes demons out to be. Not only does he provide a different point of view by looking at each situation through the eyes of demons, he gives a totally different way to look at the spiritual world. We often think of demons as savage and doing things without thinking them through. Lewis gives two cautions at the beginning of the book. One is that we need to believe that demons exist. The other is that we need to not become too fascinated with the demonic world. I would add another caution when it comes to demons. That is, we need to recognize the cunningness of satan and his minions and not underestimate the resources he has at his dispose. I am not saying to fear the devil; just recognize what exactly it is that is trying to tear us away from God.

Lewis provides ways to prevent this from happening in this letter. Don't fall asleep. Always be on your toes. Don't allow the devil to catch you not paying attention to God. The little things make a difference. Don't allow yourself to become numb to any sin. Hate all sin and the Devil will not be able to budge you one inch.

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