The Screwtape Letters – Parenting By the Book Reviews
by Sylvia Cochran
The Screwtape Letters is a timeless classic that dates back to 1942. Penned by C.S. Lewis, who became a household name in the wake of the Narnia film release, it is a fictional account of a letter exchange. The primary “author” is a devil by the name of Screwtape. He corresponds with his nephew Wormwood in an attempt to groom the younger minion of the devil to become more effective at snatching souls away from God.
Each Screwtape Letter is short – just a couple of pages – but deeply poignant. Rather than trying to cover a multitude of topics, each letter addresses a specific attitude of the heart that may have the Christian parent struggling from time to time. There are the issues of hypocrisy, filial duty, cynicism, drifting away, bitterness, arrogance and the many other little quirks of human nature that – taken alone – don’t amount to much, but when combined make up a person in the danger of facing an eternity in hell.
The Screwtape Letters provide an excellent opportunity for a Christian parent to reevaluate her/his Christian walk. Does s/he seem to follow the suggestions of Screwtape to Wormwood or is s/he fighting upstream in an effort to not give in to the devilish suggestions?
In addition, this book is an excellent conversation starter and quiet time book to share with a preteen or teen. Since there are no biblical chapter and verse references in the letters, the Christian parent will be wise to find them prior to introducing any one letter to a child. This helps to also train a youngster recognize biblical concepts and connections with real life applications.
Caveat: This book is an easy read for adults but contains some older wordings that might sound arcane to preteens. Moreover, this is not a book for younger children, unless they have a solid understanding of the difference between “real” and “pretend.” Consider that the very notion of devils conspiring to send a person’s soul to hell might not be palatable for the younger set. Remember that – just because something is true – full disclosure still needs to be an age-appropriate exercise!
Book Review:The Screwtape Letters
by C. S. Lewis
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