C is for C.S. Lewis
Day 3 of the A to Z Challenge. Click here to see my post about this year’s theme – Christian Fiction.
It may well be that I’m going to peak early in this year. I reckon we’re starting at a very high point with Mr Lewis. He was a prolific writer of both fiction and non-fiction. His official website says he abandoned his Christian faith before he turned thirteen. When he was thirty, he abandoned atheism for theism and converted to Christianity two years later. As an academic and writer, I can’t imagine he did any of those things lightly; particularly in the later years.
‘The Chronicles of Narnia’, are usually the first to stand out when we think of his Christian Fiction; but for me, ‘The Screwtape Letters’ is the work that continues to have an actual tangible effect on my Christian life. Uncle Screwtape’s lessons to Wormwood in how to trick and trip the Christian are all recognisable to me. Even the simple label of ‘patient’ assigned to the soul Wormwood is working on. A subtle insult maybe, that this person is sick because of their spiritual move towards God?
The Devil’s attitude towards us humans is derogatory. We see how he spoke to Jesus himself, One he knew to be God’s Son; so of course he thinks little of the rest of us. Lewis writes this disparaging attitude with excellent skill. Screwtape encourages Wormwood to keep things abstract, while attacking his ‘patient’ in the areas of everything from hunger to worry to prayer life, church life, even the facial expressions of his mother. Anything and everything that can be used for mischief is encouraged. I recognise myself in what I read and feel a teensy bit better prepared, or at least better aware of some of the tricks that are tried on me.
‘The Screwtape Letters’ is entertaining, engaging, informative, practically helpful, and just a little bit scary in how I can see myself in the ‘patient’. I love this work so much, and can’t recommend it highly enough.
C.S. Lewis himself has left an amazing legacy. Here’s a quote from the C.S. Lewis Foundation website.
Inspired by the life and legacy of C.S. Lewis, the C.S. Lewis Foundation is dedicated to advancing the renewal of Christian thought and creative expression throughout the world of learning and the culture at large.
“Christian thought and creative expression…” I wonder if he even realised what his words would lead to. I hope so…