C.S. Lewis and The Screwtape Letters
In The Screwtape Letters, Lewis imagines a series of lessons in the importance of taking a deliberate role in Christian faith by portraying a typical human life, with all its temptations and failings, seen from devils' viewpoints. Screwtape holds an administrative post in the bureaucracy ("Lowerarchy") of Hell, and acts as a mentor to his nephew Wormwood, an inexperienced (and incompetent) tempter.
In the 31 letters which constitute the book, Screwtape gives Wormwood detailed advice on various methods of undermining God's words and of promoting abandonment of God in "the Patient" (whom Wormwood is tempting), interspersed with observations on human nature and on the Bible. In Screwtape's advice, selfish gain and power are seen as the only good, and neither demon can comprehend God's love for man or acknowledge human virtue.
Versions of the letters were originally published weekly in the Anglican periodical The Guardian, in wartime between May and November 1941, and the standard edition contains an introduction explaining how the author chose to write his story.
Lewis wrote the sequel "Screwtape Proposes a Toast" in 1959 – a critique of certain trends in British public education. (Although Britain calls its major private schools "public schools", Lewis is referring to state schools when he criticizes "public education".) Omnibus editions with a new preface by Lewis were published by Bles in 1961 and by Macmillan in 1962.
The Screwtape Letters became one of Lewis' most popular works, although he said it was "not fun" to write and "resolved never to write another 'Letter'".
The Screwtape Letters comprises 31 letters written by a senior demon named Screwtape to his nephew, Wormwood (named after a star in Revelation), a younger and less experienced demon, charged with guiding a man (called "the Patient") toward "Our Father Below" (Devil / Satan) from "the Enemy" (God).
After the second letter, the Patient converts to Christianity, and Wormwood is chastised for allowing this. A striking contrast is formed between Wormwood and Screwtape during the rest of the book, wherein Wormwood is depicted through Screwtape's letters as anxious to tempt his patient into extravagantly wicked and deplorable sins, often recklessly, while Screwtape takes a more subtle stance, as in Letter XII wherein he remarks: "... the safest road to hell is the gradual one – the gentle slope, soft underfoot, without sudden turnings, without milestones, without signposts".
In Letter VIII, Screwtape explains to his protégé the different purposes that God and the devils have for the human race: "We want cattle who can finally become food; He wants servants who can finally become sons". With this end in mind, Screwtape urges Wormwood in Letter VI to promote passivity and irresponsibility in the Patient: "(God) wants men to be concerned with what they do; our business is to keep them thinking about what will happen to them".
With his own views on theology, Lewis goes on to describe and discuss sex, love, pride, gluttony, and war in successive letters. Lewis, an Oxford and Cambridge scholar himself, suggests in his work that even intellectuals are not impervious to the influence of such demons, especially during complacent acceptance of the "Historical Point of View" (Letter XXVII).
In Letter XXII, after several attempts to find a licentious woman for the Patient "to promote a useful marriage", and after Screwtape's narrowly avoiding a painful punishment for having divulged to Wormwood God's genuine love for humanity (about which Wormwood had promptly informed the Infernal authorities), Screwtape notes that the Patient has fallen in love with a Christian girl and through her and her family a very Christian way of life. Toward the end of this letter, in his anger Screwtape becomes a large centipede, mimicking a similar transformation in Book X of Paradise Lost, wherein the demons are changed into snakes. Later in the correspondence, it is revealed that the young man may be placed in harm's way by his possibly civil defense duties (it is stated in an earlier letter that he is eligible for military service, but it is never actually confirmed that he was indeed called up). While Wormwood is delighted at this and by the war in general, Screwtape admonishes Wormwood to keep the Patient safe, in hopes that they can compromise his faith over a long lifetime.
In the last letter, the Patient has been killed during a World War II air raid and has gone to Heaven, and for his ultimate failure Wormwood is doomed to suffer the consumption of his spiritual essence by the other demons, especially by Screwtape himself. He responds to Wormwood's final letter by saying that he may expect as little assistance as Screwtape would expect from Wormwood were their situations reversed ("My love for you and your love for me are as alike as two peas ... The difference is that I am the stronger."), mimicking the situation where Wormwood himself informed on his uncle to the Infernal Police for Infernal Heresy (making a religiously positive remark that would offend Satan).
Screwtape starts every letter with, "My dear Wormwood", except the last letter, which sarcastically says, "My dear, my very dear Wormwood; my poppet, my pigsnie."
The Author- C.S. Lewis:
Clive Staples Lewis was a British writer and lay theologian. He held academic positions in English literature at both Oxford University (Magdalen College, 1925–1954) and Cambridge University (Magdalene College, 1954–1963). He is best known for his works of fiction, especially The Screwtape Letters, The Chronicles of Narnia, and The Space Trilogy, and for his non-fiction Christian apologetics, such as Mere Christianity, Miracles, and The Problem of Pain.
He was born November 29,1898 and died November 22 1963 at age 64. His occupations were Novelist, scholar, broadcaster. His Alma mater was in University College, Oxford. His Genre was Christian apologetics, fantasy, science fiction, children's literature. His wife was Joy Davidman (1956; died 1960) He had two step-sons, and a brother Warren Lewis.
Lewis and fellow novelist J. R. R. Tolkien were close friends. They both served on the English faculty at Oxford University and were active in the informal Oxford literary group known as the Inklings. According to Lewis's 1955 memoir Surprised by Joy, he was baptized in the Church of Ireland, but fell away from his faith during adolescence. Lewis returned to Anglicanism at the age of 32, owing to the influence of Tolkien and other friends, and he became an "ordinary layman of the Church of England". Lewis's faith profoundly affected his work, and his wartime radio broadcasts on the subject of Christianity brought him wide acclaim.
Lewis wrote more than 30 books which have been translated into more than 30 languages and have sold millions of copies. The books that make up The Chronicles of Narnia have sold the most and have been popularized on stage, TV, radio, and cinema. His philosophical writings are widely cited by Christian apologists from many denominations.
The Screwtape Letters Audiobook- The epilogue at the end of the book is heart wrenching, and demonically prophetic-because the "speaker" Screwtape at a banquet in hell, describes their next great agenda-to entrench the world with "democracy", and all that it really represents.
Note- In the book, Screwtape notes that the Patient has fallen in love with a Christian girl and through her and her family a very Christian way of life. Toward the end of this letter, in his anger Screwtape becomes a large centipede. The photo below helps give the reader a visual aide in what he is describing-there's testimony from those who God has allowed to visit hell- one is Mary K. Baxter, who have given descriptions of giant demons that look like insects, grasshoppers, scorpions and centipedes. So C.S. Lewis was writing an accurate account of what hell is like-though he may not have known it.
Mary K Baxter Describes Horrors of Hell
What Screwtape describes, we are watching unfold before our eyes, right now. For generations the colleges and universities in this country have been infiltrated with Marxist communist professors and teachers who have taught people their propaganda, and now they are in the streets, burning, looting, and tearing down the country to make it into what they have been brainwashed to believe in. We can thank people like Bernie Sanders for where we are now. The school systems who've promoted Common Core, and learning systems like it fit perfectly into Screwtape's speech and "toast" to the upstart demons. After you've listened to the entire book, and eulogy at the end, then come back and read these articles, and you'll see the clear picture of what Screwtape was talking about, and celebrating, with his toast.
What is Common Core all about-"By adopting a uniform set of standards, states are essentially establishing a ”one-size-fits-all” approach to learning. Any educator worth her salt knows that students learn in different ways and that education needs to fit the needs of the student, not the reverse. It was Ralph Waldo Emerson who once wrote about ”a foolish consistency, [which is] the hobgoblin of little minds.” The Common Core is all about foolish consistency and runs a super-freeway through all the little hills and dales of student individuality."
Interesting information on how it is funded:
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, one of the largest philanthropic funds in the world, has made the development and adoption of the Common Core standards a key strategy in its education programs and has contributed at least $170 million to various groups to further that goal.
some articles on the problems with Common Core-
Portland Oregon schools just made the claim that mathematics in schools and expecting a correct answer is "racist".....this country has lost it's mind. Yes, the kid making mud pies now sits beside the one with a brilliant mind, in the same room, and they must be leveled, and made to be "equal"..... Screwtape's agenda is in full swing. What's going on in this country is the dumbing down of humanity-and Satan does not care what color your skin is-he wants you to drop below the level of a chimpanzee-and wants you to think and act like barbarians, and animals. He wants you to treat each other like animals, and consume each other like animals. That's one reason cannibalism is rising again. He hates you that much.
The blog below gives a chilling description of today's mega ministers- Joel Osteen, Rick Warren, and those in their category, comes first to mind. I will post it in it's entirety here, in case the blogsite it's in is disabled, or deleted for some reason.
Screwtape’s Masterpiece- https://nuthajason.blogspot.com/search?q=screwtape
“And so Wormwood – I trust my letters were helpful?”
The two demons walked unseen along the high street of a British town. Wormwood nodded enthusiastically.
“Yes uncle. I have made much headway in this place. Many converts for the Master.”
“Well, it is pathetically easy these days, so do not become too bloated with self-congratulation dear nephew. In my day, before I was promoted, I dare say it was much more difficult to turn a client away from the Enemy.”
“Many converts you say? Go on boy, show me your best work.”
Wormwood then lead his diabolical uncle to a side street where, next to a dumpster, covered in vomit stained rags, a figure lay snoring in the midday sun.
“There is my masterpiece, uncle. He was a decent family man but I lead him to drink and despair. His wife left him and he lost his job. He blames everybody but himself …and he blames the Enemy the most. He is safely in our Master’s hands.”
“You call that a masterpiece?? Oh Wormwood, I see that I wasted my time writing to you. Proud foolish imp! Let me show you a true masterpiece!”
Screwtape then clapped his hands together and the two demons vanished with an inaudible thunderclap. When Wormwood opened his eyes he could not believe where his uncle had taken him. They were in a huge church. The brightly lit stage was grandly decked out with flowers and on the back wall hung a giant backlit cross. At the podium a man stood in a suit with a perfect hairstyle and a ten-megawatt smile. He was carefully looking into one of many television cameras and pointing dramatically to the ceiling. Wormwood looked around at hundreds upon hundreds of eager hungry faces – well-fed and happy. Some were scribbling down notes and others had their hands raised in the air in blissful worship. The imp heard the man at the podium say the name of the Enemy and he shuddered.
“Where is he uncle Screwtape? Where is your masterpiece?”
“Hush Wormwood and listen…”
The man at the podium spoke for twenty more minutes and ended with a prayer. The congregation gave him a huge round of applause and then sang a beautiful hymn. After that they filed out and the stage lights were turned off. Soon the two demons sat in an empty padded pew seat in the silent darkened hall. Wormwood was speechless.
His uncle looked at him and grinned.
“That is a masterpiece! I got an award for turning him several years back”
“But – but he told them about things in the Bible …”
“Yes he did," Screwtape grinned, "wasn’t it great!?”
“But he told them about the – the Enemy.”
Screwtape waved a dismissive hand, “Well yes – after a fashion.”
“But they sang to the enemy!”
“Did they … really?”
“They said his name in the lyrics.”
“Hmmm, and I suppose that is important, Wormwood?”
“How is it important? … I can call Hell a paradise but does it make it one?”
“But this is a church!”
“No, this is a building – a television studio to be exact.”
“But he gave a sermon…”
“Did you listen to it? Did you hear the accursed Gospel being preached?”
“No, but it was about … about … loving and stuff.”
“NO! It was about themselves. He spent all that time telling them how to be better, to live better – to have their best life in this life. Tell me – did he mention sin even once?”
“Did he warn them of the coming wrath and judgement of the Enemy?”
“Did he remind them of how the Enemy has paid the price for their transgressions?”
“What did he essentially tell them?”
“That – er – that the Enemy loves them?”
“Yes, dear Wormwood, the enemy loooooorves them and would never ever judge them. They are okay to just be themselves and to prosper and be blessed. Tell me – what did the preacher actually ask them to do?”
“Uh, to buy his latest book and bring more people to the next meeting?”
“Exactly, anything about repentance?”
“Anything about persecution and taking up their own cross?”
“You see now boy? A Masterpiece! Your pathetic drunk in the gutter may be safely within our master’s grasp, but this one man is bringing thousands to kneel at their own altars and thus really worship the master. Your pathetic drunk in the gutter actually runs against the master’s designs because other humans will see his self-inflicted suffering and be warned against the dangers of drugs and alcohol. But my clean-cut preacher with his jet, his collection of cars, his gleaming wife and children all shot in soft focus and bathed in delightful gentle piano arpeggios, his immaculate suit and winsome smile, his mansions and his connections, his life affirming pronouncements and guilt-free religion – he is a saviour. He is a winner of souls. His delightful message attracts and keeps safe those who want what he wants.”
“Which - is – practically - everybody…”
“Exactly – now you see it.”
“How can I – How did you – turn a man of the Enemy camp into such a creature?”
“It is far easier than you think.”
“I want to try uncle Screwtape.”
“I’ll write you some more letters then.”
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May you find a source of sound spiritual food for your soul and
Jesus Christ is Lord
And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto
I will worship toward thy holy temple, and praise thy name for thy lovingkindness and for thy truth: for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name.
In the day when I cried thou answeredst me, and strengthenedst me with strength in my soul.
All the kings of the earth shall praise thee,
O LORD, when they hear the words of thy mouth.
I had rather stand against the cannons of the wicked than against the prayers of the righteous.
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Finishing the Course
JESUS THE SON
Bringing Down The Walls