The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis
The Screwtape LettersScrewtape, a demon or devil in Hell, writes letters to his nephew, Wormwood, to guide Wormwood as he handles his first human soul. Screwtape gives advice on how Wormwood can steer his subject away from Christianity on Earth so that the human will spend Eternity in Hell with them. After the man accepts Christ and becomes a Christian, Screwtape now has to change his advice so that Wormwood can bring the man back to their Realm.
World War II occurs during this man’s time on Earth. Screwtape gives advice on the attitudes the man could take and how Wormwood can subtly twist them to suit their requirements rather than the Enemy’s (God). He shows Wormwood how easy it is to twist what is good for man into their Father’s (Satan) work. He mentions some of the disadvantages they have in their work but how they can be ignored or overcome in the human’s life.
This book is a humorous look at how a Christian should act on Earth. The Christian beliefs cannot be separated from the story line. Since Screwtape is himself a devil, his letters have to be suspect. Lewis states in his forward that they themselves are trying to stay awy from their won punishment and push others down. By the end, much of Screwtape’s advice is obviously suspect.
If you reject anything Christian you won’t like this book. If you’re a good person or a professed Christian who takes everything to heart, this book will make you feel guilty. If you’re a balanced Christian, this book will make you think and look at your own life.
Lewis has given a good picture of a possibility of Hell. His pictures are clear and Screwtape is believable. Taken only as fiction and a good story, this is well written and enjoyable. But of course Lewis wrote it to be more than a story. It is almost impossible to actually read The Screwtape Letters and not apply it personally. It achieves a balanced goal of entertainment and self enlightenment.