The Screwtape Letters Online Download by C. S. Lewis Click Here to Download the Book The story takes the form of a series of letters from a senior demon, Screwtape, to his nephew, a junior "tempter" named Wormwood, so as to advise him on methods of securing the damnation of a British man, known only as "the Patient". Screwtape holds an administrative post in the bureaucracy ("Lowerarchy") of Hell, and acts as a mentor to Wormwood, the inexperienced tempter. In the body of the thirty-one letters which make up the book, Screwtape gives Wormwood detailed advice on various methods of undermining faith and promoting sin in the Patient, interspersed with observations on human nature and Christian doctrine. Wormwood and Screwtape live in a peculiarly morally reversed world, where individual benefit and greed are seen as the greatest good, and neither demon is capable of comprehending or acknowledging true human virtue when he sees it.
Reviews This is one of the best books I've ever read. I've read it multiple times, always with a pencil in hand, underlining passages that make me examine myself to see where I can improve. I frequently bring up the lessons I've learned from it in religious discussions, in and out of church meetings. What makes this brilliant book work for me is the way it makes me look at my life in black and white. I try to be a good person, a good citizen, and a good Christian, but there are always things going on in my life that clutter it up and distract me, things that make me see my life in shades of gray. Looking at the struggle for the human soul through the eyes of a devil, however, reminds me that, as another book once said, "Things are either black or white. Only people are gray." Everything you do, says Lewis, either takes you closer to or farther away from God, whether those things are of a religious nature or not. Even pleasures and the little things we do every day can be a force for good or for evil in our lives. The book even has lessons for outside the religious realm. The sections on the patient's relationship with his mother made me look at the way I interact with friends and family, and the section on the patient's new cynical friends made me think about the dangers of silently conforming to ideas we don't agree with in order to win friends. And on top of all this, you get Lewis's brilliant writing style. If I could, I would give this book six out of five stars.
In this book, C.S. Lewis presents a series of advisory and didactic letters which an important Under Secretary in Hell, named Screwtape, writes to his nephew Wormwood, who is charged with malevolently misguiding the soul of his particular "patient." In his letters, Screwtape tells Wormwood how he may influence his "patient" to make detrimental choices. Simultaneously C.S. Lewis shares his thoughts on how people's relationships can go awry. I not only very much enjoyed this book, I also found it very instructive, helpful and insightful. I was approaching it from the perspective of believing both in guardian angels as well as in those spirits which seek to derail us on our paths of spiritual growth. However, I think that many could find this book helpful even if they don't believe in angels or evil spirits. Lewis offers thoughts on interpersonal relations and how friction can develop between people, insights from which anyone can benefit. If you want to avoid spoilers, if you happen to read the edition with the introduction by Clyde Kilby, you might want to read the introduction after reading the book. In the introduction, Kilby reveals major things which happen at the end of the book.
Hands down the best Lewis book! We all know the story: an older demon writes letters to a younger demon about how best to tempt humans. What is engaging about this is not the 'ooh, cool, demons' or the Ways to Avoid Temptation but the fact the Lewis took such an original idea- letters from a demon- to explore our everyday struggles with our own flaws. Plus, the humor is fantastic. My favorite bit is actually an addendum, written years later: Screwtape Proposes a Toast. Set in hell, at a Demon Graduation Ceremony, Screwtape gives a long speech about how best to tempt modern people. It is
actually Lewis's way of subtly attacking the British education system; showing how we all think and move as a herd, and how the education system is set-up to encourage and manipulate that. It ends with one of my favorite Lewis quotes: "All said and done, my friends, it will be an ill day for us if what most humans mean by 'religion' ever vanishes from the Earth. It can still send us the truly delicious sins. The fine flower of unholiness can grow only in the close neighbourhood of the Holy. Nowhere do we tempt so successfully as on the very steps of the altar." Ah, we have all seen the truth in that.
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