screwtape letters

The Screwtape Letters: Summary, 16 Key Lessons and Book Review

TitleThe Screwtape Letters
AuthorC.S. Lewis
Rating★★★★★ (5 stars)
Purchase LinkBuy Here

The Screwtape Letters is a book by CS Lewis in which he shows us how we are tempted in different ways throughout our lives. Read other book summaries here.

What is the Synopsis of The Screwtape Letters?

The book has a very simple proposal, as you’ll read in the following paragraph.

In the book, author CS Lewis shows, through fictitious correspondence between an experienced demon and another beginner, how to make men lose faith. Thus, the book is an inverse instruction guide: whatever the demons tell the book to do, the reader must do the opposite. The tips are ironic, humorous and 100% current.

Because of this, it’s a very interesting book to read and gives a new look at christian philosophy. You can buy The Screwtape Letters clicking here.

What is the Summary of The Screwtape Letters?

Every letter has its own particularities, but I’ll try to show the common place of the book.

In the book, Lewis masterfully teaches the opposite: he brings the point of view of a demon to show the Christian point of view. In this way, the demon writes 31 letters to advise his protégé on how to cause human souls to be lost. Thus, he shows several ways to cause the disunity of families, to make the person abandon the faith and fall into temptation.

The book is written in an ironic format, that is: everything written in the letters must be interpreted backwards. Read a summary about The Abolition of Man here.

Who is the author of The Screwtape Letters?

I bet you already heard about this writer — maybe you even know him, but don’t remember the name!

The author of The Screwtape Letters is CS Lewis, famous for writing The Chronicles of Narnia and several Christian works. Lewis was a writer, theologian and professor at Harvard and Oxford universities.

He was always a very famous writer, and he got even more well-know after the Chronicles of Narnia was adapted to movie format. Read a summary on The Weight of Glory by C. S. Lewis here.

What are the main lessons of The Screwtape Letters?

The main lessons of The Screwtape Letters are:

1. Demons know us better than we know ourselves

First, Lewis makes it clear that demons don’t care about a human being’s conception of time.

In fact: they observe humans much longer than any average human lives. That is: they know us better than we know each other.

2. We are deceived by our emotions

Letter 1 shows that the cause of perdition is not through the use of arguments or science: the devil will attack us by influencing our emotions and feelings.

3. Don’t be guided by bad Christians

In fact: between letters 1 and 2, the devil recommends his apprentice to make man disillusioned with the church, highlighting people who are strange or hypocrites. So people think it’s better to be out of church.

4. Family quarrels are the worst

Letter 3 shows how the tempted man is irritated daily by his mother’s irritating conversations.

In this way, we quarrel with the dear people around us and distance ourselves from the spiritual life. If not with the family, we fight with ourselves or take an object as an enemy. You can buy The Screwtape Letters clicking here.

5. We should love those close

Also, letter 6 shows how tempted we are to treat people we are closest to (family, love relationships) badly and to be benevolent with people we are not close to.

However, something we must never fail to do is take special care of those who are closest to us.

6. Excessive patriotism and pacifism are harmful

The devil shows how man can lose his soul by becoming an extreme patriot or an extreme pacifist, who considers his faith only as an aspect within his ideology.

7. Life’s easy periods are dangerous

Letter 8 shows how it is easier to walk away from God in good times, since comfort and pleasures can make a person lose.

8. Small sins become big sins

In one of the letters, the devil shows how small temptations, especially those of sensual pleasures (such as sex), make man contentwith a moderate religion that is not difficult.

Thus, the person gradually moves away from the faith and ends up ceasing to practice everything in which he believes. You can buy The Screwetape Letters clicking here.

9. The church can also drive a man away

In some cases, a long time in the Church, in small groups or in activities outside the family reality, can make a man move away from the faith.

10. Love and passion are different

In letter 18 we learned that being in love is different from true love (that of charity). However, people think that the only basis for marriage is being in love.

11. It is necessary to live chastity in marriage

Many people, because of sexual pleasure, end up marrying the wrong people. However, this generates a whole life away from God.

12. Beware of Possessiveness

In letter 21, we see how harmful the totally controlling sense of ownership can be: “my time”, “my clothes”, “my wife”, “my God”.

13. Christ is not just a philosopher

In fact: in letter 23, the devil recommends that his apprentice encourage the view that Jesus was just a philosopher or sage.

Furthermore, others consider Christianity as a piece in the quest for justice and social equality.

However, Jesus is the Son of God, and his message goes far beyond temporal goods.

14. Be careful with tiredness

Tiredness is a very easy way to escape responsibilities, but we must overcome it. Read a symmary about the classic book Mere Christianity by Lewis here.

15. Faith Is Not Emotion We

People tend to be motivated by emotive words, but faith is much more: it is a decision to follow the teachings of Christ.

16. We Must Seek Salvation

Salvation depends on God, who died to redeem us. Even though work is very much God’s work, we must seek salvation at all times.

What is The Screwtape Letters Review?

The book is very accessible and has a very current language, showing everyday situations in which we are tempted.

In addition, the book is very humorous, being fun to follow. It works as an interesting little story.

Finally, the epilogue of the book is a show of its own, deserving to be read very carefully. It’s a part more philosophical addressing more serious subjects.

Therefore, this book is a must-read for every Christian and is well worth reading for people who consider themselves agnostics or atheists.

What are the negative points of The Screwtape Letters?

  • Some letters are more difficult to read.
  • It may not be as interesting for non-Christians.

What are the positive points of The Screwtape Letters?

  • The situations in the book are 100% current.
  • The language is direct and humorous.
  • It shows complex points of theology in a simple way.

Is The Screwtape Letters worth reading?

If you read everything, you already know my opinion. However, I’ll speak in clear terms if the book is worth checking out.

The book Screwtape Letters is worth reading. The book is not only current, but also a very pleasant read. Even though he deals with very serious subjects, he does so in a humorous way. In fact: the book can be an excellent work of study for beginners, both Christians and those who want to know the Christian faith.

If you are interested in buying The Screwtape Letters, I recommend it! You can buy The Screwtape Letters clicking here.