The Screwtape Letters – Study Guide


This entry is part 1 of 65 in the series Screwtape Letters

 

The Screwtape LettersWhat Is The Screwtape Letters About?How Do I Use This Study Guide?

The Screwtape Letters

The Screwtape Letters – Written by C. S. Lewis.

Wow – Clive Staples Lewis.
This must be hard.
Well – let’s say it’s not exactly easy.
But – it is important.

So here’s what’s happening at the top of this screen. We’ve got Screwtape up there in the top left corner. We’ve got one of us in the top right corner.And we have our plans – directions – where we want to go in the middle. Who’s going to influence them? Screwtape – or God?

That’s up to us – that little thing called free will.

As I was going through some of the study guides on the net for this book, and then we tried to use them in a small group at church – we found that they were maybe too structured – didn’t leave enough room to really consider life – our lives – the things actually happening – and how to relate them to both the Bible and to the things that encounter every day.

That’s the goal here – to provide a more open set of questions. This is the way our group ended up going – with more open ended questions to think about and discuss. Not to say this is the only way – or even the best way – to study this book. It just seemed to work for us. No matter how you do it – it will tell us all a lot about the say Satan works in the world – and how God is always there to help us and save us – if we want Him to.

What is The Screwtape Letters about?

If you don’t know much (or anything) about the book – you’ll want to check this part out first.

It was written back in the 1940’s – in England – so some of the language is no longer in use.

Where it gets really interesting though – it’s written by an experienced devil (Screwtape) to his nephew (Wormwood) who he is mentoring as he works on his first patient after getting out of training. This part describes more about the book – and how to read it.

How do I use this study guide?

There’s a lot of material to present here – so I’m going to try to arrange it in a useful way. Part of that will involve color coding the text – as well as different fonts and using italics.

As part of the redesign of the course. I made various portions of the Bible text – especially where they are long – into “hidden” areas on screen.  Each can be individually expanded, allowing you to expose all or some of them, as desired.

I’m curious to hear back from you as to how useful this is.  Are they OK, as is?  Should there be more hidden areas?  Should there be fewer?  I didn’t have this capability when I did the course, so Id like to hear back on how it works for you.

…  

The page on how to use the study guide includes the following topics –

Determining the context of what you will read

Study methodology

Can I study in a group of one?

 


I’ve put a lot of work into reformatting this version.  I first wrote this series back in 2012-13.  It was for a small group.  Quite small.  But it was still the proverbial labor of love.  Since putting it up on my previous site, there’s been about 600 people (or groups – I can’t tell which) going through it at any given point in time.  It was worth while even for that first small group.  That so many others have found it useful may mean that I actually listened to that ‘still small voice’ in the process.  I pray it is helpful to you.  It has been for me – even in the process of moving it from one site to another and reformatting everything.  It’s been a reminder about the truth behind some of what’s been happening in my life these last three years.  It’s also been a reminder of something I already ‘knew in my head’ – but sometimes ‘forget in my heart’.  Like how to respond when stuff happens.

Anyway —

There is now (possibly for some people) an option to not have to use the “questions” pages.  For those who have been printing it – then printing the “discussion guide” pages with the questions repeated – the guide points are now collapsed, with a hint at what they’re about the only thing visible by default.  This way, you can get some clue where to begin looking – without giving away everything.  Each of the hints can be independently expanded.  When you print from your browser, it should print exactly what’s visible.

The divisions made between groups of letters are to indicate where there are common themes that run through the letters.  If you’re in a group environment and need to schedule a break – doing so at one of the division markers would be ideal, if possible.

My new site also used a different hosting environment, so all of the text / color coding had to be re-implemented and assigned to each segment of text, as appropriate.  I’ve tried to proof-read and be sure everything is correct.  However – if you’ve done something like this yourself, it’s not easy. Already knowing what I want it to look like is a huge stumbling block to actually getting it right.

As you go through this, is you happen to notice any issues with formatting, please let me know.  There’s a comment link at the bottom of every page.  

Due to the move to another host, I also had to update every single link.  If you come across one that doesn’t work / goes to the wrong place – please let me know.

I pray this guide is useful and you have a meaningful experience with your group (of 1 or more) and with God as you go through it.

Letter #1

And so it begins, but notice that it’s not at the beginning. Screwtape is responding to a letter that Wormwood wrote – but we don’t get to read. In fact – we never get to read what Wormwood writes – much as we never really get to “hear” what Satan “says” to us.

Questions are here.

Discussion Points /”Answers” are here.

Letter #2

Things sounded rather well – for Screwtape and Wormwood at the end of the first letter. Letter #2 doesn’t start quite so well. Not well at all – from their point of view.

Questions are here.

Discussion Points /”Answers” are here.

Letter #3

Screwtape is on a roll again – full of advice for his nephew on how to affect his patient.Let’s see just how good the tactics might be.

Questions are here.

Discussion Points /”Answers” are here.

Letter #4

Screwtape is unhappy – about prayer
and about blame.

Questions are here.

Discussion Points /”Answers” are here.



Letter #5

Screwtape is unhappy –
again –
this time about Wormwood.

Questions are here.

Discussion Points /”Answers” are here.

Letter #6

Screwtape recognizes that the greatest fear we humans have is fear.

Questions are here.

Discussion Points /”Answers” are here.

Letter #7

Screwtape starts to outline a plan of action.  

Questions are here.

Discussion Points /”Answers” are here.



Letter #8

The “Law of Undulation”. Screwtape writes about the peaks and troughs in our lives – and how to exploit them.

Questions are here.

Discussion Points /”Answers” are here.

Letter #9

The “Law of Undulation” continued. In the advanced trough lesson – Screwtape has even better ways to exploit them (us).

Questions are here.

Discussion Points /”Answers” are here.



Letter #10

Screwtape talks about “friends”.  Not the TV show – the real people in our lives.

Questions are here.

Discussion Points /”Answers” are here.

Letter #11

Screwtape talks about “friends” in the previous letter.  Now, it’s back to the patient himself.

Questions are here.

Discussion Points /”Answers” are here.

Letter #12

Is there such a things as things going too well?

Questions are here.

Discussion Points /”Answers” are here.



Letter #13

The previous letter asks if things can go too well.

We’re about to find out.

Questions are here.

Discussion Points /”Answers” are here.

Letter #14

This is the first letter after the patient’s second conversion.  Things don’t appear to be getting any better from Screwtape’s point of view.

Questions are here.

Discussion Points /”Answers” are here.

Letter #15

Circumstances present a fork in the road – it’s time to make decisions about how to proceed.

Questions are here.

Discussion Points /”Answers” are here.

Letter #16

Things may be getting even worse for Wormwood (in spite of or because of Screwtape’s help?)

Questions are here.

Discussion Points /”Answers” are here.



Letter #17

Screwtape’s recommended attacks on the patient take a dramatic turn here.

Questions are here.

Discussion Points /”Answers” are here.

Letter #18

Screwtape is now going to get into marriage – no doubt to corrupt it.

Questions are here.

Discussion Points /”Answers” are here.

Letter #19

Screwtape seems to be losing it again.

Questions are here.

Discussion Points /”Answers” are here.

Letter #20

More bad news – for Wormwood.

Questions are here.

Discussion Points /”Answers” are here.

Letter #21

Screwtape’s going to change directions now.

Questions are here.

Discussion Points /”Answers” are here.



Letter #22

Things must not be going so well for little Wormwood.   Maybe they were a little rough for Screwtape too?

Questions are here.

Discussion Points /”Answers” are here.

Letter #23

Time for Wormwood to take practice to reality.

Questions are here.

Discussion Points /”Answers” are here.

Letter #24

Uh Oh – is pride rearing its head?

Questions are here.

Discussion Points /”Answers” are here.

Letter #25

More bad news – for Wormwood.

Questions are here.

Discussion Points /”Answers” are here.

Letter #26

Unselfishness is like being charitable – or is it?

Questions are here.

Discussion Points /”Answers” are here.



Letter #27

Wormwood seems to be having some difficulties keeping his patient distracted and hiding the truth from him.

Questions are here.

Discussion Points /”Answers” are here.

Letter #28

Screwtape wants the patient to live?

Questions are here.

Discussion Points /”Answers” are here.

Letter #29

Screwtape’s logic now begins to reveal much about us.

Questions are here.

Discussion Points /”Answers” are here.

Letter #30

Wormwood is in trouble – again.

Questions are here.

Discussion Points /”Answers” are here.

Letter #31

Uh oh – Wormwood is in really big trouble.

Questions are here.

Discussion Points /”Answers” are here.

Congratulations!

You are all done!

I’d really like to hear from you – what you thought about the class – any suggestions / comments.


 

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