While attending Oxford University, C.S. Lewis went from being an atheist to a renowned Christian. Lewis touched a vast audience with his numerous books (around thirty or more) including The Screwtape Letters, Mere Christianity, and The Four Loves. He brought fantasy and entertainment into his writing along with slight to thunderous bits of theology woven through his stories and books. This made Lewis one of the most influential Christian writers of the 20th century.
One of the better known books from C.S. Lewis is The Screwtape Letters. The Screwtape Letters is a fiction book comprised of thirty-one letters from Screwtape, a senior tempter and head in a department in Hell, to his nephew who is a novice tempter Wormwood. These letters are detailed instructions on how to cause Wormwood’s patient to fall from the Christian life. Screwtape, in all his devilish wisdom, pin points certain tribulations that all humans face and gives a devil-sided view to the human responses. The book is fiction, yet can be studied because of the spiritual lessons that are inversely taught throughout the letters.
In The Screwtape Letters, C.S. Lewis addresses a position on love that is seldom heard, yet universally felt. Screwtape makes a very clear distinction between his ideal of love and true love. If we take what Screwtape thinks love is, and reverse the teaching completely, all that is left is the love that God approves of. The purest and most sought after love is God’s. Love has been divided by C.S. Lewis into five ways. One way, taught in The Screwtape Letters is “being in love”. The other four ways is taught through The Four Loves: Affection, friendship (philia), romantic love (eros), and Agape love. Understanding the difference between the loves will help in the development of the Christian life in Christ.
Screwtape views true love as a complete contradiction. He admits that God “… really loves the human vermin and really desires their freedom and continued existence…” (Lewis 73) yet does not understand how God could do this. Screwtape and the other demons feel that God is only putting on a facade that He really loves the human race, because God wants to gain something from the humans. The demons do not understand why God would love the humans so they credit God’s love to swindling for some real motive that is underlying the love. The question that the demons cannot answer is what God would achieve from the humans? Humans can love. Humans do love. Screwtape wants the humans in the deceptive trap of “being in love”. To go through the emotions of a relationship and not have any base in reality. “Nothing matters at all except the tendency of a given state of mind, in given circumstances, to move a particular patient at a particular moment nearer to the Enemy or nearer to us.” (Lewis 74). Screwtape is saying that nothing matters at all, not to waste time asking questions about the ethical value of love claiming it to be either right or wrong, but to make the...