Monday, November 29, 2010

Classics Bookclub: The Screwtape Letters

Screwtape LettersI haven't read a classic since I was in college back in the 90's, and I've been wanting to culturize myself for many months now.  The problem is I knew it was going to be work to read a classic. 

Joining in the Classics Bookclub at 5 Minutes For Books for the first time, I chose The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis to begin my venture back into the world of classic literature.  I chose it because it is a shorter book, and I thought I might really "get" C.S. Lewis.

This story is told in the form of letters written by a seasoned demon named Screwtape, addressed to a demon-in-training.  Screwtape's job is to teach his trainee in the ways of deception.  Each demon has his own "patient", as the humans are called, and it is their job to keep them from believing in The Enemy.  Of course, The Enemy they refer to is God.

It was fascinating to think about how the demonic realm works to oppress men.  I could relate to the way the demon talked about deceiving men with their feelings and influencing their thinking about God in order to turn men away from Him.  The things Screwtape recommended to his trainee were ways I know I have personally been deceived.  It made me think about how real the spiritual realm is and how much I need to depend upon the Holy Spirit for guidance.  Satan and his hoards are crafty.Classics-Bookclub-150

Can I be honest here, though?  I had a hard time reading the book.  It was easy to read quickly because of the short chapters, but I had to wade through the language to comprehend.  I've been away from reading classics for too long, and I've lost my training.  Obviously, I need to begin honing these skills again.  I'll have to pick another classic for the next quarter and participate in the Classics Bookclub again.

Although I had difficulty, I will still recommend the book.  It's an eye-opener.  Just don't expect light reading.

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  1. I've read Lewis's Narnia books, but not this one.

    That's one reason why I like to read a classic every now and then -- it helps me keep up with the older language. Besides, of course, the classics being almost timeless tales.

  2. I also have read the Narnia books but not this one. Classics can be hard to read but sometimes that makes it that much more rewarding. Thanks for sharing!



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