Screwtape Letters Chapter 10
Screwtape Letters Chapter 10 – Preface Letter I Letter II Letter III Letter IV Letter V Letter VI Letter VII Letter IX Letter XV Letter XV Letter XVI Letter XVII Letter XVIII Letter XV Letter XVI Letter XXI Letter XVIII Letter XV Letter XVI Letter XXI Letter XXV Letter XXVI Letter XXVII Letter XXVIII Letter XXIX Letter XXX Letter XXXI
All Themes that Prove Christianity True by Investigating the Evils of Religion and the Reason of Loving Liberty, Will, and Sin Fashion, Progress, and Change
Screwtape Letters Chapter 10
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The Book I Keep Rereading—even Though It Gets Less Funny Each Time
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Screwtape has heard from Triptweeze, an associate of Wormwood’s, that the patient has made new acquaintances who tempt him away from God. There is a middle-aged married couple — rich, clever, intellectual, peaceful — with whom the patient seems to enjoy spending time.
So far, there have been no specific characters in the novel who tempt the patient away from God, with the obvious exception of the devils. Here, Lewis presents a new challenge – human beings who, through their own arrogance or ignorance, lead the patient astray.
Screwtape recognizes that the patient will quickly realize that his Christianity clashes with the couple’s skeptical, secular way of looking at the world. He will begin to amplify the couple’s attitudes, and then the couple’s words. Eventually, he may grow to adopt their beliefs as his own.
April 10, 2012
Screwtape explains the fundamental challenge to the patient’s faith. He describes it as a glorious possibility, but we understand it as a new conflict in the plot (unless we’re on the devil’s side!).
Screwtape notes, amusingly, that the patient should not realize he is being tempted. The patient probably associates the whole concept of temptation with Puritanism, a much ridiculed form of Christianity which, nevertheless, makes people sober, plain, and moderate. When the patient realizes that his Christianity conflicts with the secularism of his friends, Wormwood can then encourage the patient to enjoy the feeling of a “double life.” So, when the patient prays in church, he will think about the witty conversation he had with his new friends.
There is a lot of important information in this section. First, Lewis reinforces the misconception of “progress” when he discusses Puritanism. Puritanism is often understood as old-fashioned and old-fashioned – this reflects the tendency of humans to believe that ideas need to change over time. Second, Lewis illustrates the fallacy of the “double life,” a statement of modern philosophy from Sartre to W.E.B. DuBois. For Lewis, the double life is only inevitable: it is consciously embraced by modern people because it is pleasurable.
Screwtape advises Wormwood to encourage the patient to spend more time with the married couple, thereby causing him to neglect his work, his church, and his mother. His mother will become jealous and fearful, increasing the tension between the two of them.
Book Review: The Screwtape Letters
The plot of this novel approaches a kind of “romantic triangle,” where the devils try to use the patient’s affections against him and make those close to him jealous or unhappy.
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“O God of the steep truth and outstanding beauty, we thank you for Clive Staples Lewis, whose holy imagination lights the fires of faith in young and old alike; Surprise us also with your joy, and draw us to that new and abundant life which is ours in Christ Jesus, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen” Collection of the Episcopal Church
“…he almost never spoke of himself, at least in my hearing: although once, soon after his marriage, when he brought his wife to dinner with me, he said… looking at her across the grassy quadrangle , ‘I never expected to have, in my sixties, the happiness that passed in my twenties.” Jocelyn Gibb, Light on C. S. Lewis
I’m so glad I came across this show. I appreciate the personal connections the hosts make and the enthusiasm for an author who contributes so much to sound thinking through beatuy. I wish they were a little better about spoiler warnings for other Lewis works being discussed! I’m in the middle of Till We Have Faces listening to Screwtape episodes and there are several mentions of TWHF; I must yank out my headphones! No harm done, love the show guys! Jcboyn
Kings 1 8; 10 11; 2 Chronicles 5 7; Proverbs 1 3; 6; 20 21
. This prompted Matt to tell the story of when he met M. Night Shyamalan. Not to be outdone, Andrew told his story of meeting the White Witch actress, Tilda Swinton.
Cause I’ve got friends in low places Where the whiskey drowns And the beer chases my blues away And I’ll be fine I’m not big on social races Think I’ll slide on down to the oasis Oh , i have friends in low places Friends in Low Places, Garth Brooks
“He will be silent when he should speak and laugh when he should be silent” C.S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters (Letter #10) Drink of the week
The patient has made new friends who are rich, suspicious and superficially intellectual. Screwtape says that any open recognition of the conflict between their worldviews must be postponed as long as possible. As the Church has failed to prepare him adequately, in the meantime, he will adopt many of their attitudes. When he eventually realizes the conflict, Screwtape offers three strategies: (1) Does he remember this only in their absence? instructions to encourage excessive spending, and neglect work and mother. One hundred word summary of Chapter 10
Favorite C. S. Lewis Quotes
When the golden moments come, when God enables someone to actually pray without words, who but a fool would refuse the gift? But he doesn’t give it – anyway not to me – day by day. My mistake was what Pascal, if I remember correctly, calls “The Error of Stoicism”: thinking that I can always do what I can sometimes do.C.S. Lewis, Letters To Malcolm (Letter #2) Discussing New Friends
…the middle-aged married couple he called into his office are exactly the kind of people we want him to know – rich, clever, intellectually superficial, and deeply suspicious of everything in the world. I gather that they are even vague of pacifism, not on moral grounds but from an innate habit of belittling anything that relates to the great mass of their fellow men and from a break from purely fashionable and literary communism.C.S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters (Letter #10)
I tend to think that it would be wise for a Christian to avoid, where he can decently, any meeting with people who are bullies, lewd, cruel, dishonest, spiteful and so on. Not because we are “too good” for them. In a sense because we are not good enough. We are not good enough to cope with all the temptations, nor clever enough to cope with all the problems, which a night spent in such society produces.C.S. Lewis, Reflections on the Psalms
Did he commit deeply? I don’t mean it in words. There is a subtle play of looks and tones and laughs by which a mortal can suggest that he is of the same party as those he is talking to. That is the kind of betrayal you should particularly encourage, because the man does not fully realize it himself; and by the time he does you will have made withdrawal difficult.C.S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters (Letter #10)
Persuasion In The Screwtape Letters
The temptation is to condone, to tolerate; by our words, look and laugh, to “agree”. The temptation was never greater than now when we are all (and rightfully so) so afraid of priggery or “smoking”. And of course, even if we don’t seek them, we will constantly be in such company whether we want it or not. This is the real and unavoidable difficulty.C.S. Lewis, Reflections on the Psalms Postpone any recognition of the conflicting worldview
No doubt he had to realize very soon that his own faith was in direct opposition to the assumptions on which all the conversation of his new friends was based. I don’t think it matters much provided you can persuade him