The Screwtape Letters

On top of having two weeks left before finals, I have been finishing up the work on the flower bed (pics coming as soon as everything blooms), reading through Daniel, watching a sermon series on the Song of Songs, reading The Screwtape Letters, and playing Restaurant City on Facebook. The last being a waste of time that is oddly addicting, but nothing impressive.

Though I’m not sure the feeling I have is that of enjoyment when I read The Screwtape Letters, I would still recommend it. As the author, C.S. Lewis, said:

“The work through which I had to project myself while I spoke though Screwtape was all dust, grit, thirst, and itch. Every trace of beauty, freshness, and geniality had to be excluded. It almost smothered me before I was done. It would have smothered my readers if I had prolonged it.”

The Screwtape Letters are a series of 31 letters that Screwtape — an experienced devil — writes to his nephew — who is working on his first human “patient”. This could, of course, be done in a very good or very bad way. C.S. Lewis said that he had a “grudge” against his book, because he could only show us one side of the picture, and could not write like an angel in order to give us a picture of how we have someone fighting for us on the other side. That being said, I think he did an excellent job (at least in the firsts 11 letters that I have read;)

Reading this book is like learning through studying the enemy’s plans, and though I could spend a post per letter of this book, I will just pull one example out of the second chapter.

“At his present stage, you see, he has an idea of “Christians” in his mind which he supposes to be spiritual but which, in fact, is largely pictorial. His mind is full of togas and sandals and armour and bare legs and the mere fact that the other people in church wear modern clothed is a real — though of course an unconscious — difficulty to him. Never let it come to the surface; never let him ask what he expected them to look like.”

From- (nutmeg)'s photostream

Screwtape is trying to help his nephew “save” his patient, who has just become a Christian and is going to church for perhaps the first time in his life. Though C.S Lewis wrote this book in the 1930s, this topic, if anything, has become more relevant today. Lots of people have odd ideas about what churches and the body of Christ should look like. Through movies and their own imagination, they have created in their mined what a “good church” looks like. And when the people in that church are regular people just like them, it will clash with their idea. Subconsciously this may turn into a mark against that church.

But non-Christians and new Christians are not the only ones whom this might drive away. All of us as Christians need to be careful that we do not judge the person in the next seat over because he has clothes that are a little shaggy making him look uncaring, or too nice making the wearer look arrogant, or if the person is too heavy, or has squeaky shoes.

“Accept him whose faith is weak, without passing judgment on disputable matters. One man’s faith allows him to eat everything, but another man, whose faith is weak, eats only vegetables. The man who eats everything must not look down on him who does not, and the man who does not eat everything must not condemn the man who does, for God has accepted him.” ~Romans 14:1-3

Correct me if I’m wrong, but faith is much more important than appearance.

Church is a place to praise the LORD of Lords and to build faith. Your focus should be on God, not on the person next to you. At the same time, you should not wear clothes that will draw too much attention to yourself and distract other people (that’s simply being polite).

For people visiting church for the first time, know that the people who go there are sinners, just like you and everyone else. We are not more or less spiritual when we dress up nice.

Previous Post
Next Post
Leave a comment


  1. hi @niner360, I agree, “faith is much more important than appearance”
    I read the Chronicles of Narnia when I was a kid…but never got around to reading the Screwtape Letters your review of it sounds very interesting! –looking forward to seeing the flowers =)

  1. Bloggy Links « Blogging 2 Learn

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: