The Screwtape Letters

Because The Screwtape Letters is told from the perspective of a devil like Screwtape, God is almost always referred to as The Enemy. In spite of his antagonistic role in the novel, God inspires a great deal of Screwtape’s moral theorizing. Screwtape accuses God of wanting humans to be separate from him—in other words, free—and yet united with him in their Christian faith. Screwtape also grudging acknowledges that God loves humanity—at least until Wormwood reports this “heresy” to the authorities of Hell. In the end, Screwtape regards God as a mystery, concluding that his love for mankind must involve some secret plan. Much of the comedy in The Screwtape Letters arises from the reader’s recognition that there is no secret plan behind God’s love—he loves mankind, and that is all.

God Quotes in The Screwtape Letters

The The Screwtape Letters quotes below are all either spoken by God or refer to God. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Proving Christianity True by Exploring Evil Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Harper edition of The Screwtape Letters published in 2001.
Letter II Quotes

He has a curious fantasy of making all these disgusting little human vermin into what He calls His "free" lovers and servants—"sons" is the word He uses, with His inveterate love of degrading the whole spiritual world by unnatural liaisons with the two-legged animals. Desiring their freedom, He therefore refuses to carry them, by their mere affections and habits, to any of the goals which He sets before them: He leaves them to "do it on their own". And there lies our opportunity. But also, remember, there lies our danger. If once they get through this initial dryness successfully, they become much less dependent on emotion and therefore much harder to tempt.

Related Characters: Screwtape (speaker), Wormwood, God
Page Number: 7
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in vol

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proidenLorLorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore e

Unlock explanations and citation info for this and every other The Screwtape Letters quote.

Plus so much more...

Get LitCharts A+
Already a LitCharts A+ member? Sign in!
Letter V Quotes

But that is where He is so unfair. He often makes prizes of humans who have given their lives for causes He thinks bad on the monstrously sophistical ground that the humans thought them good and were following the best they knew. Consider too what undesirable deaths occur in wartime. Men are killed in places where they knew they might be killed and to which they go, if they are at all of the Enemy's party, prepared. How much better for us if all humans died in costly nursing homes amid doctors who lie, nurses who lie, friends who lie, as we have trained them, promising life to the dying, encouraging the belief that sickness excuses every indulgence, and even, if our workers know their job, withholding all suggestion of a priest lest it should betray to the sick man his true condition!

Related Characters: Screwtape (speaker), Wormwood, God
Page Number: 23
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquipLorem ipLorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Letter VII Quotes

All extremes, except extreme devotion to the Enemy, are to be encouraged.

Related Characters: Screwtape (speaker), Wormwood, The patient, God
Page Number: 32
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut a

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Letter VIII Quotes

He really does want to fill the universe with a lot of loathsome little replicas of Himself—creatures, whose life, on its miniature scale, will be qualitatively like His own, not because He has absorbed them but because their wills freely conform to His. We want cattle who can finally become food; He wants servants who can finally become sons. We want to suck in, He wants to give out. We are empty and would be filled; He is full and flows over. Our war aim is a world in which Our Father Below has drawn all other beings into himself: the Enemy wants a world full of beings united to Him but still distinct.

Related Characters: Screwtape (speaker), Wormwood, God, Satan
Page Number: 38
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Do not be deceived, Wormwood. Our cause is never more in danger, than when a human, no longer desiring, but intending, to do our Enemy's will, looks round upon a universe from which every trace of Him seems to have vanished, and asks why he has been forsaken, and still obeys.

Related Characters: Screwtape (speaker), Wormwood, God
Page Number: 40
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecLorem iLorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit eLoreLorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mo

Letter XV Quotes

Hence nearly all vices are rooted in the future. Gratitude looks to the past and love to the present; fear, avarice, lust, and ambition look ahead. Do not think lust an exception. When the present pleasure arrives, the sin (which alone interests us) is already over. The pleasure is just the part of the process which we regret and would exclude if we could do so without losing the sin; it is the part contributed by the Enemy, and therefore experienced in a Present. The sin, which is our contribution, looked forward.

Related Characters: Screwtape (speaker), Wormwood, God
Page Number: 76-77
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Letter XIX Quotes

I have been thinking very hard about the question in your last letter. If, as I have clearly shown, all selves are by their very nature in competition, and therefore the Enemy's idea of Love is a contradiction in terms, what becomes of my reiterated warning that He really loves the human vermin and really desires their freedom and continued existence? I hope, my dear boy, you have not shown my letters to anyone. Not that it matters of course. Anyone would see that the appearance of heresy into which I have fallen is purely accidental.

Related Characters: Screwtape (speaker), Wormwood, God
Page Number: 99
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint

Letter XXV Quotes

It is here that the general Evolutionary or Historical character of modern European thought (partly our work) comes in so useful. The Enemy loves platitudes. Of a proposed course of action He wants men, so far as I can see, to ask very simple questions; is it righteous? is it prudent? is it possible? Now if we can keep men asking "Is it in accordance with the general movement of our time? Is it progressive or reactionary? Is this the way that History is going?" they will neglect the relevant questions.

Related Characters: Screwtape (speaker), Wormwood, The patient, God
Page Number: 138-139
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Letter XXIX Quotes

There is here a cruel dilemma before us. If we promoted justice and charity among men, we should be playing directly into the Enemy's hands; but if we guide them to the opposite behaviour, this sooner or later produces (for He permits it to produce) a war or a revolution, and the undisguisable issue of cowardice or courage awakes thousands of men from moral stupor.

This, indeed, is probably one of the Enemy's motives for creating a dangerous world—a world in which moral issues really come to the point.

Related Characters: Screwtape (speaker), Wormwood, God
Page Number: 161
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cup

Letter XXXI Quotes

If only we could find out what He is really up to! Alas, alas, that knowledge, in itself so hateful and mawkish a thing, should yet be necessary for Power! Sometimes I am almost in despair. All that sustains me is the conviction that our Realism, our rejection (in the face of all temptations) of all silly nonsense and claptrap, must win in the end.

Related Characters: Screwtape (speaker), Wormwood, God
Page Number: 175
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit

Get the entire The Screwtape Letters LitChart as a printable PDF.
The screwtape letters.pdf.medium

God Character Timeline in The Screwtape Letters

The timeline below shows where the character God appears in The Screwtape Letters. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Letter I
Religion and Reason Theme Icon
...a few centuries. The writer mentions that Wormwood must keep the patient away from the “Enemy.” (full context)
Religion and Reason Theme Icon
Freedom, Will, and Sin Theme Icon
The writer recalls a “young atheist” he was trying to keep away from the Enemy. One day, the atheist was thinking “the wrong way.” Instead of trying to convince him... (full context)
Letter II
Proving Christianity True by Exploring Evil Theme Icon
Religion and Reason Theme Icon
Freedom, Will, and Sin Theme Icon
...a Christian. Screwtape encourages Wormwood not to despair, since many humans have flirted with the Enemy before returning to evil. (full context)
Love Theme Icon
Freedom, Will, and Sin Theme Icon
Fashion, Progress, and Change Theme Icon
...could be marriage, school, or, in the patient’s case, Christianity. This disappointment occurs because the Enemy creates humans to be free. Freedom is both an advantage and a disadvantage for the... (full context)
Letter IV
Proving Christianity True by Exploring Evil Theme Icon
Religion and Reason Theme Icon
...with prayer is to encourage the praying person to think of himself, rather than of God. Thus, when the patient prays for bravery from God, Wormwood should encourage the patient to... (full context)
Proving Christianity True by Exploring Evil Theme Icon
Religion and Reason Theme Icon
Wormwood can tamper with the patient’s prayer by encouraging him to think of God in concrete, visual terms. There are many people, Screwtape notes, who get in the habit... (full context)
Letter V
Proving Christianity True by Exploring Evil Theme Icon
Religion and Reason Theme Icon
Love Theme Icon
Freedom, Will, and Sin Theme Icon
...this suffering is useless to devils unless people go to Hell because of it. Moreover, God often rewards people for showing bravery in battle, even if they are fighting for a... (full context)
Letter VI
Love Theme Icon
...in a state of uncertainty and anxiety about whether or not he’ll have to fight. God wants people to think about what they’re doing, while devils want people to think about... (full context)
Letter VII
Proving Christianity True by Exploring Evil Theme Icon
Religion and Reason Theme Icon
...The paradox of evil is that when devils conceal their existence, humans don’t believe in God, but they also don’t act directly on behalf of evil. On the other hand, when... (full context)
Religion and Reason Theme Icon
Love Theme Icon
Fashion, Progress, and Change Theme Icon
If the patient is a physical coward and an uneasy believer in God, as Screwtape guesses he is, then Wormwood should try to make him a pacifist. As... (full context)
Letter VIII
Proving Christianity True by Exploring Evil Theme Icon
Religion and Reason Theme Icon
Freedom, Will, and Sin Theme Icon
...bound to happen at some point, and it doesn’t necessarily last. Indeed, Screwtape notes that God relies on these periods of dullness and dissatisfaction for converting people to Christianity. (full context)
Proving Christianity True by Exploring Evil Theme Icon
Love Theme Icon
Freedom, Will, and Sin Theme Icon
Screwtape acknowledges, grudgingly, that God really does love human beings, and wants to fill the universe with them. The goal... (full context)
Proving Christianity True by Exploring Evil Theme Icon
Freedom, Will, and Sin Theme Icon
In order to populate the universe with loyal followers, God uses periods of sadness and pain. Instead of simply proving his existence to humanity, as... (full context)
Freedom, Will, and Sin Theme Icon
...a human being lives through a period of great suffering, and continues to believe in God. Nevertheless, periods of suffering can be useful to devils—Screwtape promises to tell Wormwood how they... (full context)
Letter IX
Freedom, Will, and Sin Theme Icon
...humans are sad, lonely, or otherwise in pain—can be useful for swaying humans away from God and Christianity. (full context)
Love Theme Icon
Freedom, Will, and Sin Theme Icon
...a single form of pleasure. Every pleasure humans are capable of experiencing was created by God. Thus, devils sway human beings by encouraging them to enjoy God’s pleasure “at times, or... (full context)
Proving Christianity True by Exploring Evil Theme Icon
Fashion, Progress, and Change Theme Icon
Another way to sway depressed humans away from God is to make them think that their depressed phase is a mere reaction to the... (full context)
Letter X
Religion and Reason Theme Icon
Freedom, Will, and Sin Theme Icon
Fashion, Progress, and Change Theme Icon
...of Wormwood’s, that the patient has made new acquaintances who are tempting him away from God. There is a middle-aged married couple—rich, clever, seemingly intellectual, pacifist—with whom the patient seems to... (full context)
Letter XI
Proving Christianity True by Exploring Evil Theme Icon
Freedom, Will, and Sin Theme Icon
Fun is sometimes useful to devils, because it can distract them from God, but it also promotes courage, peace, and generosity, meaning that it’s usually bad for devils.... (full context)
Proving Christianity True by Exploring Evil Theme Icon
Fashion, Progress, and Change Theme Icon
...Thus, when people talk flippantly about Christianity, they are more likely to move away from God’s majesty. (full context)
Letter XII
Proving Christianity True by Exploring Evil Theme Icon
Love Theme Icon
Freedom, Will, and Sin Theme Icon
Fashion, Progress, and Change Theme Icon
...in corrupting the patient, but warns him that if he moves the patient away from God too quickly, the patient will become aware of what is happening and try to regain... (full context)
Proving Christianity True by Exploring Evil Theme Icon
Religion and Reason Theme Icon
Love Theme Icon
Freedom, Will, and Sin Theme Icon
...piety, but a weak sense of dissatisfaction will make the patient reluctant to think about God any further, or even to go to church. Over time, the patient will become unhappy... (full context)
Religion and Reason Theme Icon
Freedom, Will, and Sin Theme Icon
Screwtape notes that Christians think of God as a being “without whom Nothing is strong.” In a sense, Nothing is the devils’... (full context)
Letter XIII
Religion and Reason Theme Icon
Love Theme Icon
Freedom, Will, and Sin Theme Icon
Humans’ tastes and pleasures are the basic material with which God encourages them to become Christians, Screwtape says. When he tempts humans, Screwtape always begins by... (full context)
Letter XIV
Proving Christianity True by Exploring Evil Theme Icon
Religion and Reason Theme Icon
Freedom, Will, and Sin Theme Icon
...not, as many people think, the denial of one’s talent or character. Screwtape observes that God wants humans to believe that they could build “the best cathedral in the world,” know... (full context)
Love Theme Icon
Freedom, Will, and Sin Theme Icon
In a sense, Screwtape speculates, God wants humans to replace one kind of self-love with a different kind. Humans should love... (full context)
Letter XV
Proving Christianity True by Exploring Evil Theme Icon
Religion and Reason Theme Icon
Fashion, Progress, and Change Theme Icon
...time, the present, yet they are destined to go to Heaven and live in eternity. God wants humans to contemplate the present moment in which they live, as well as the... (full context)
Religion and Reason Theme Icon
Freedom, Will, and Sin Theme Icon
Fashion, Progress, and Change Theme Icon
...sin is “rooted in the future”—greed, fear, pride, ambition, etc. While it is true that God wants humans to think about the future, too, he wants them to think of the... (full context)
Letter XVI
Religion and Reason Theme Icon
Love Theme Icon
Fashion, Progress, and Change Theme Icon
God wants humans to approach churches with some skepticism about the information they learn there. At... (full context)
Letter XVIII
Religion and Reason Theme Icon
Love Theme Icon
Freedom, Will, and Sin Theme Icon
...“My good is my good and your good is yours. What one gains another loses.” God’s philosophy is the exact opposite: to promote cooperate, generosity, and love. This is the reason... (full context)
Love Theme Icon
Freedom, Will, and Sin Theme Icon
Screwtape criticizes God for creating something as absurd as love. Even worse, God associates “innocent” sexual desire with... (full context)
Love Theme Icon
Screwtape explains how devils manipulate God’s love to tempt humans. Because God has associated love and sexuality, devils try to convince... (full context)
Letter XIX
Proving Christianity True by Exploring Evil Theme Icon
Love Theme Icon
...has insisted, all beings are by nature in competition with each other, then how can God be said to love humanity, as Screwtape has also insisted? Screwtape begs Wormwood not to... (full context)
Proving Christianity True by Exploring Evil Theme Icon
Love Theme Icon
Screwtape revises his opinion of God. God does not really love humans, he now insists. It would be impossible for God... (full context)
Proving Christianity True by Exploring Evil Theme Icon
Love Theme Icon
Freedom, Will, and Sin Theme Icon
Screwtape explains that it was the ambiguity in God’s reasons for creating mankind that first led “Our Father,” Satan, to rebel against God. God... (full context)
Proving Christianity True by Exploring Evil Theme Icon
Love Theme Icon
Freedom, Will, and Sin Theme Icon
...a suicide. Better yet, the patient could be induced to marry someone. While marriage is God’s invention, it can be useful for devils. There are certain brides who would corrupt the... (full context)
Letter XX
Love Theme Icon
Freedom, Will, and Sin Theme Icon
Fashion, Progress, and Change Theme Icon
Screwtape notes that God has ended Wormwood’s attacks on the patient’s chastity. While this was inevitable, Screwtape argues, Wormwood... (full context)
Letter XXI
Proving Christianity True by Exploring Evil Theme Icon
Religion and Reason Theme Icon
Love Theme Icon
Freedom, Will, and Sin Theme Icon
...moon. Indeed, the patient, at least according to his Christian beliefs, is the servant of God all day. Thus, every day that the patient has nothing irritating to do except listen... (full context)
Proving Christianity True by Exploring Evil Theme Icon
Religion and Reason Theme Icon
Love Theme Icon
Freedom, Will, and Sin Theme Icon
...he owns the house he lives in. Indeed, humans cannot truly claim that they “own” anything—God has given them everything. (full context)
Letter XXII
Love Theme Icon
Freedom, Will, and Sin Theme Icon
Based on his description of the patient’s love interest, Screwtape criticizes God for being “a hedonist at heart.” Although God appears to surround himself with crosses and... (full context)
Proving Christianity True by Exploring Evil Theme Icon
Religion and Reason Theme Icon
Freedom, Will, and Sin Theme Icon
...humans are under the mistaken belief that devils have been punished for their revolt against God by being transformed into ugly creatures. In fact, he explains, devils simply take on the... (full context)
Letter XXIII
Religion and Reason Theme Icon
Love Theme Icon
Fashion, Progress, and Change Theme Icon
...downhill since the era of its founding. This point of view claims that “the historical Jesus” was very different from the figure that Christians worship in the 20th century. “The historical... (full context)
Religion and Reason Theme Icon
Love Theme Icon
Freedom, Will, and Sin Theme Icon
Fashion, Progress, and Change Theme Icon
One common quality of every version of the historical Jesus is that he was a “Great man” in the modern sense of the word: in... (full context)
Religion and Reason Theme Icon
Love Theme Icon
Freedom, Will, and Sin Theme Icon
Fashion, Progress, and Change Theme Icon
The historical Jesus, Screwtape continues, is actually ahistorical insofar as the intellectual aspects of Jesus Christ are emphasized... (full context)
Letter XXVII
Religion and Reason Theme Icon
Love Theme Icon
...little to tempt the patient. Wormwood has tried to distract the patient from thoughts of God by encouraging him to think only of love. But this has been counterproductive, because when... (full context)
Proving Christianity True by Exploring Evil Theme Icon
Religion and Reason Theme Icon
Love Theme Icon
...in love, however, the patient may indulge in “false spirituality”—he may make non-petitionary prayers to God. This is good for devils, since God commands Christians to pray for bread and health,... (full context)
Letter XXVIII
Freedom, Will, and Sin Theme Icon
...disaster—his soul is so pious at the moment that if he is killed now then God will have defeated the devils. Screwtape suggests that Wormwood has spent too much time around... (full context)
Proving Christianity True by Exploring Evil Theme Icon
Religion and Reason Theme Icon
Love Theme Icon
Freedom, Will, and Sin Theme Icon
...that he will enter middle age, which is an excellent time for temptation. So far, God has protected the patient from the temptations of youth, but those of middle age are... (full context)
Love Theme Icon
Freedom, Will, and Sin Theme Icon
Fashion, Progress, and Change Theme Icon
Screwtape continues that old age is an even more dangerous time for humanity. Because God created men to live in Heaven, they find it difficult to live on Earth. Thus,... (full context)
Letter XXIX
Proving Christianity True by Exploring Evil Theme Icon
Religion and Reason Theme Icon
Freedom, Will, and Sin Theme Icon
...an irritating dilemma for devils: if they promote justice and peace, then they are serving God. If, however, they promote chaos and war, then in the ensuing violence, millions of people... (full context)
Proving Christianity True by Exploring Evil Theme Icon
Freedom, Will, and Sin Theme Icon
...humility, but he will also train himself to think that he has something other than God to “fall back on,” namely, superstition and elaborate plans and courses of action. Screwtape concludes... (full context)
Letter XXXI
Religion and Reason Theme Icon
Love Theme Icon
Freedom, Will, and Sin Theme Icon
In the final seconds before he died, the patient saw God. Wormwood, Screwtape guesses, saw God too, and cowered before him. Perhaps Wormwood was amazed that... (full context)
Proving Christianity True by Exploring Evil Theme Icon
Religion and Reason Theme Icon
Love Theme Icon
Freedom, Will, and Sin Theme Icon
...only thing that sustains Screwtape is the knowledge that the devils’ realism will ultimately defeat God’s nonsensical love. Screwtape signs his final letter, “your increasingly and ravenously affectionate uncle, Screwtape.” (full context)