Return to C.S. Lewis’ Screwtape Letters

old letters

Every way of a man is right in his own eyes, but the LORD weighs the heart.

Proverbs 21:2

C.S. Lewis wrote the Christian satire, “The Screwtape Letters” in the early 1940s. What he wrote is, sadly, still true.

“Screwtape” is employed by the “Lowerarchy” of Hell, and acts as a mentor to Wormwood, his nephew. Wormwood is an inexperienced and incompetent tempter. In the book, God is called the “Enemy” and the person that Wormwood is trying to lead away from God and to the devil is called “the Patient”. – Wikipedia

The opening paragraph

My dear Wormwood,
‘I note what you say about guiding your patient’s reading and taking care that he sees a good deal of his materialist friend. But are you not being a trifle naïf? It sounds as if you supposed that argument was the way to keep him out of the Enemy’s clutches. That might have been so if he had lived a few centuries earlier. At that time the humans still knew pretty well when a thing was proved and when it was not; and if it was proved they really believed it. They still connected thinking with doing and were prepared to alter their way of life as the result of a chain of reasoning. But what with the weekly press and other such weapons we have largely altered that. Your man has been accustomed, ever since he was a boy, to have a dozen incompatible philosophies dancing about together inside his head. He doesn’t think of doctrines as primarily “true” or “false”, but as “academic” or “practical”, “outworn” or “contemporary”, “conventional” or “ruthless”. Jargon, not argument, is your best ally in keeping him from the Church. Don’t waste time trying to make him think that materialism is true! Make him think it is strong, or stark, or courageous—that it is the philosophy of the future. That’s the sort of thing he cares about.’


Notice C.S. Lewis’ point that, “They still connected thinking with doing and were prepared to alter their way of life as the result of a chain of reasoning.” People today are completely unwilling to change, even when they think through the logic and see that something is true; they still call it false. That is the nature of humanity.

He who testifies to these things says, “Surely I am coming soon.” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus!

Revelation 22:20

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