My life of reading was unfortunately late in bloom, for which I am now seeking to make up for lost time. Though I was introduced to the Chronicles of Narnia through a play at a young age, my first reading of C.S. Lewis has only been in the past few years and my reading list not very long, though his impact has been decisive.
Having to choose only one work of Lewis, is difficult, as I would be prone to want to pick both a fiction and non-fiction work. Since I can’t do that, I will, by choosing The Screwtape Letters, that reveal very real truth regarding the work of the devil and temptation in our life, through the use of fictional letters between uncle Screwtape and his nephew Wormwood on the devilish work of being a devil.
The Screwtape Letters impacted me profoundly, both personally and pastorally in seeing the way in which Satan frequently sets up both the lost and saved for failure. Lewis writes with a personal knowledge and insight into the intricate ways in which the enemy works. Scripture says that Satan comes as an Angel of light, which I think is often forgotten, instead we are frequently expecting some kind of outward ‘devilish character’.
Lewis warns, “There are two equal and opposite errors into which our race can fall about devils. One is to disbelieve in their existence. The other is to believe, and to feel an excessive and unhealthy interest in them.” We must however remember that they are at work in the World and that the way in which they seek to impact man, is far more common than expected. The truth is satan frequently works through something as simple as a distraction from that which would grow you closer to Christ or the novelty of a passing fashion, to fuel avarice in the heart.
I highly recommend reading the Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis, to be challenged to think about how the enemy seeks to distract, deceive and destroy both those who are inquiring about the Christian faith and the Christian who is seeking to live a victorious for Christ.
Watch out, the devil may have already told you this devil stuff is a bunch of hooey, he is cleaver that way.
Read the book!
*Short essay for Wordsmithy Seminar on the impact of Lewis.