Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Excerpts from The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis

I bought a hardcover edition of The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis. I had a paperback, which I now can't find. The book consists of letters from Screwtape, an older devil who is mentoring his devil nephew Wormwood. It's funny and insightful at the same time. It cleverly reveals how evil seduces people. Here are some excerpts from Screwtape's letters:

- Your man has been accustomed, ever since he was a boy, to have a dozen incompatible philosophies dancing about together inside his head. He doesn't think of doctrines as primarily "true" or "false", but as "academic" or "practical", "outworn" or "contemporary", conventional" or ruthless". Jargon, not argument, is your best ally in keeping him from the church.

- Above all, do not attempt to use science (I mean, the real sciences) as a defense against Christianity. They will definitely encourage him to think about realities he can't touch and see.

- The best thing, where it is possible, is to keep the patient from the serious intention of praying altogether.

- Of course a war is entertaining. The immediate fear and suffering of the humans i a legitimate and pleasing refreshment for our myriads of toiling workers.

- One of our great allies at present is the Church itself.

Etc. etc. - the book is great! Blurb from the back cover, "Screwtape is an experienced devil. His nephew Wormwood is at the beginning of his demonic career and has been assigned to secure the damnation of a young man. Their letters are one of C.S. Lewis's most brilliant imaginative creations."

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