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The Screwtape Letters
(C.S. Lewis)

The Screwtape Letters is a collection of letters of advice from an
experienced senior devil to his nephew Wormwood, a junior
tempter.  Wormwood?s assignment is to ensure that a young man is
damned, and that young man has instead become a Christian.  Uncle
Screwtape alternates between threatening Wormwood and suggesting means
to undo the ?Enemy?s? gains.

The letters are, of course, a means of conveying advice about leading a
Christian life and avoiding damnation.  Scarcely any Christian
reading this book would fail to recognise himself in one of the
situations Screwtape suggests as a stratagem to lead the young man
astray.  The manner in which the letters are written manages to
suggest strategies to avoid or escape the devil?s traps and thereby
grow in virtue.

C.S. Lewis also uses the book to point out all the gifts God gives to
man, gifts which make the ordinary extraordinary, even in the midst of
war (the book was published in 1941).  Screwtape complains that
the ?Enemy? has an unfair advantage over the devil by virtue of having
actually become man, and therefore being able to understand what it is
to be human in a very personal way.  These points are made subtly,
even humorously, but no Christian could miss them or fail to find them
heartening and helpful.

The Screwtape Letters are not entirely original in their
conception.  St. Gregory the Great also wrote a similar series,
but his were written in Latin at the end of the sixth century. 
Lewis? genius lies in presenting his advice in an entertaining format
for his own time.  The advice gleaned from each situation is
practical in that it can be applied immediately and easily in the
Christian life.

The Screwtape Letters are still relevant today and just as much fun to
read.  Every Christian should read Wormwood?s correspondence at
least once.

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