Feb 29, 2016

#Collaboreads: Literary Classic (The Screwtape Letters)

I am link-up up with #COLLABOREADS today, which is a fun monthly online book club hosted by Rachel A Dawson  and Amber. Each month, there is a theme and participants choose any book they'd like within that theme. They read their chosen book and then use the acronym R.E.A.D.S to share about the book for other book lovers to learn more about that book. It's fun! 


This month, the theme was literary classics and I chose C.S. Lewis' The Screwtape Letters

Screwtape Letters is a witty satirical collection of letters from a powerful devil (Screwtape) to his novice devil nephew (Wormwood) who is working on his first "patient", a new Christian man in London during WWII. Screwtape instructs Wormwood how he should capture the patient for damnation, away from "the Enemy" (God). He orders the use of a variety of methods such as distracting the man from prayer, repentance, and drawing near to God; shifting the man's focus to lust, pride, materialism, gluttony, self-righteousness, and geocentricism; and  infiltrating doubt and skepticism about God. 

Riveting: What part of the book could you NOT get enough of?

In typical C.S. Lewis fashion, there is an interweaving of satire, humor, and thought-provoking material that makes up the book. Reading the letters from Screwtape and his diabolical schemes to tempt, trick, and attempt to ultimately damn Wormwood's "patient", I was repeatedly asking myself personal questions after each chapter. Do I get distracted by material things? Do I allow pride to creep in? Do I let bitterness towards others fester in my heart? 

Elements: How did you relate to/care for the characters? 

I can't say I can relate to either Screwtape or Wormwood, because they're pure evil and want nothing to do with God, their enemy. But I can see myself in the "patient" they are working on. Although this is a fictional story that is not meant to be taken as doctrine in any way, the foundation is secure in Scripture: Satan wants to destroy anyone and anything that reflects God's image and likeness, so therefore, we as humans who are created in imago Deo, are his enemies. He uses his conniving ways to try to pull us away from God's Truth. I found many of the tactics being used by the devils in the story to be things I struggle with (being distracted and rushing through prayers, for example), so in this sense it was very relatable.  

Associate: What other books are like this one? 

Many of Lewis' books have whispers of other Lewis books, and this was no exception. There were a few things that Screwtape said that reminded me of Mere Christianity

Design: What did you think of it? 

There's an ugly gargoyle-looking sculpture on the cover, which is in a sepia tone. 

Stars: How many out of five do you give this book? Would you recommend this book to a friend? 

5 out of 5 stars. I think it is a great read that is both entertaining and heart-stirring in a way that only the brilliant C.S. Lewis can master. 


What are you reading right now?

5 comments:

  1. Ok, true fact. I've never read this. And I want to because I believe that C.S. Lewis is wonderful. So, now I'm going to have to go read.

    Also, I own it so I have ZERO excuses.

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    1. Yes! He is brilliant in this book! It is snarky and witty, but also was convicting and serious as it caused me to be introspective about things I allow to distract me.

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  2. I haven't read this one, but I did see it performed on stage. It really stuck with me though so maybe I should pick up the book.

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    1. I really want to see it on stage so bad! Let me know if you read it and what you think!

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  3. Excellent summary of the book, which makes me want to go re-read it right away. It's been a lot of years since I did.

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Elle Alice