The Screwtape Letters

Thursday, April 14, 2011 7:39 PM Posted by Savanah Jeanne

This will be a review for the book and the CD (since I read and listened together). I will give a detailed review on the first three chapters and then an overall. To do the whole thing would take a lot of time (which I'm not sure if I won't still do). It's very hard to describe my thoughts on everything I read here, which should say something, because I'm pretty good at writing, in detail, what I think or feel. 



Note that the book is supposed to be letters between "devils" or demons. 

Chapter One


The Eternal Benefits of Jargon

 Jargon : unintelligible or meaningless talk or writing; gibberish. 

"He doesn't think of doctrines as a primary 'true' or 'false', but as 'academic' or 'practical', 'outworn' or 'contemporary', 'controversial' 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 courageous that it is the philosophy of the future. That's the sort of thing he cares about."


I get caught up in this. I listen to people who "sound" smart and want to follow so I sound smart too. I like the feeling, the thrill of knowing (or thinking) that I know what I'm talking about. So instead of speaking fact, truth I'll speak well played jargon. And apparently that's just what "they" want me to do.  It may seem small, but as this chapter explains, it's just the beginning. 

Chapter Two


Church: Our Ally


The church is not a building, it's the body of Christ. God's Family.


"Of course if they do-if the patient knows that the woman in the absurd hat is a fanatical bridge player or the man with the squeaky boots a miser and extortioner-then your task is so much the easier. All you have to do is to keep out of his mind the question 'If I, being what I am, can consider that in some sense a Christian, why should the different vices of those people in the next pew prove that their religion is mere hypocrisy and convention?'"


Sometimes people, even those close to me, ask why Christians are so hypocritical or they will say something along the lines of, "But they're Christians. Christians don't act that way. What hypocrites. They're all the same." I really don't know what to say to this. People actually believe that Christian's think themselves perfect (and some may). Just because you claim the name of Christian, doesn't mean everything turns into sunshine and polka-dots. As a matter of fact, the bible says that you will suffer. 


Suffer. That sounds more like storm clouds and frowny faces. A lot of frowny faces. 


Chapter Three


Daily Pinpricks


Small things accumulate and turn into big things. 


"In civilized life domestic hatred usually expresses itself by saying things which would appear quite harmless on paper (the words are not offensive) , but in such a voice or at such a moment, that they are not far of a blow in the face.To keep this game up, you and Glubose must see to it that each of these two fools has a sort of double standard. Your patient must demand that his own utterances be taken at their face value and judged simply on the actual words, while at the same time judging all his mothers utterances with the fullest and most over sensitive interpretation of the tone and the context and the suspected intention."


The "daily pinpricks" can ruin someones day. They always ruin mine. Especially if they are one on top of the other. And then my emotion and chaotic stress runs everything I do into oblivion. No joke. And because I couldn't show self-control then, I now have the worst temper when I see even the slightest thing go astray. Not healthy.




Well that was the detailed review for the first three chapters. And even then, there is so much more I wish to write about. Unfortunately my time is so limited. I really want to do, maybe, a weekly thing until I'm finished with all the chapters this way. Tell me what you think. 


Overall, if it's not already obvious, I really, really liked this book. Every word and phrase makes me want to quote it. I was telling someone the other day that sometimes I just want to hand out copies of this book. It was just that amazing. 


5 out of 5 stars. 


I liked that he called this book a "new way of teaching by looking through a different point of view". I mean what more is there to say. He's a genius...or was a genius. I'm sorry I missed his time, but then again, not really. Because then I wouldn't be here to enjoy all his works. 


I highly, recommend this book. 


6 Response to "The Screwtape Letters"

  1. Joanna L. Oznowicz-Davis Says:

    I have both the book (illustrated) and the Dramatic audio from Focus on the Family and LOVE both. The dramatic audio gives a fleshed out context for what's going on. The book allows time to process what the cds point out. Thanks for the review.

  2. Joanna L. Oznowicz-Davis Says:

    I have both the book (illustrated) and the Dramatic audio from Focus on the Family and LOVE both. The dramatic audio gives a fleshed out context for what's going on. The book allows time to process what the cds point out. Thanks for the review.

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