Saturday, June 19, 2010

Screwtape & Wormwood

I've been reading the 1942 book by C.S. Lewis, "The Screwtape Letters" ( It's an interesting book with dark humor. In this story, the narrator is a demon (Screwtape) writing a series of letters to his nephew (Wormwood) who seems to be a young and less experienced (rookie) demon whom he's instructing/advising how to tempt a man.
"Desiring their freedom, He therefore refuses to carry them, by their mere affections and habits, to any of the goals which He sets before them: He leaves them to 'do it on their own'. And there lies our opportunity. But also, remember, there lies our danger. If once they get through this initial dryness successfully, they become much less dependent on emotion and therefore much harder to tempt."
One conclusion that I've made so far from this book is God's relationship to us (not the way around). God gives us complete free will to decide to follow him or not, but if we opt to follow him, He won't abandon us.

At the same time, we're vulnerable to sin due to the same free will that God had given us.

Some of these conclusions might be obvious, but reading them in a dark comedy is really cool. Sometimes the best sermon and second-hand teachings (Jesus being the source of these real teachings) don't come from an altar.

After all, we're all ministers of faith.