C.S. Lewis on the Historical Point of View

As Screwtape passes on his wisdom in how to keep people out of the Enemy’s camp (and thus away from Christianity), we find that one of the main tactics of the demon is ignorance. 

As always, the first step is to keep knowledge out of his mind.

For example, the Enemy (God) wants us to be concerned with eternity (thinking about Himself) and the Present, Wormwood is reminded that his chief task is keeping the patient distracted and focused elsewhere.

Our business is to get them away from the eternal, and from the Present. … [The Past] is of limited value, for they have some real knowledge of the past… It is far better to make them live in the Future. … [as] nearly all vices are rooted in the future.

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C.S. Lewis on Humility

I have been reading (actually listening on my commute) C.S. Lewis’ classic the Screwtape Letters. These letters are insightful and challenging looks at how to live out the Christian life.


They are written from the perspective of how demons might seek to tempt and pull us away from our relationship with God (known as the Enemy).

In letter #14 we find the master tempter Screwtape instructing his nephew, Wormwood, on how to deal with a problem. The person (aka the patient) that has been assigned to Wormwood, whom he is responsible for tempting and discouraging, is growing in his Christian walk.

Your patient has become humble

The first line of attack that Screwtape encourages his nephew to consider is to get his patient to focus on his humility. In this way they might attempt to draw out the vice pride as the man would suddenly start to think: I am being humble. Continue reading