I was going through some of the Screwtape Letters study guides on the net for this book. 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. For those times when it’s difficult to get a discussion started for any given question, I’ve also included some possible “answers” to get things going.
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.
It can also be used by an individual. I believe having more people gives a wider variety of points of view. Different things any one of us might not have considered. Although the suggested “answers” help in that regard, people in our group did come up with other thoughts as well.
In The Screwtape Letters, C. S. Lewis provides a series of lessons in the importance of taking a deliberate role in Christian faith by portraying a typical human life, with all its temptations and failings, seen from devils’ viewpoints. Screwtape holds an administrative post in the bureaucracy (“Lowerarchy”) of Hell, and acts as a mentor to his nephew Wormwood, an inexperienced (and incompetent) tempter. In the thirty-one letters which constitute the book, Screwtape gives Wormwood detailed advice on various methods of undermining faith and of promoting sin in “the Patient”, interspersed with observations on human nature and on Christian doctrine. In Screwtape’s advice, selfish gain and power are seen as the only good, and neither demon can comprehend God’s love for man or acknowledge human virtue. //en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Screwtape_Letters
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.
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.
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.
The page on how to use the study guide includes the following topics –
Determining the context of what you will read
Can I study in a group of one?