February 9, 2006

My Screwtape Letter #1

If some of you have not yet read C. S. Lewis' Screwtape Letters, then you need to. Lewis imagines and writes about spiritual warfare and demonic strategies by considering how one senior demon (Screwtape) trains a less experienced demon (Wormwood) on how to deceive and harm his human "patient." I have decided to attempt to write several of my own Screwtape letters in order to illustrate things I have said on my blog. Here's the first one:

Dearest Wormwood,

I am very disturbed to hear that you have allowed your patient to become a Calvinist, but we shall try to make the most of it. Even if his beliefs have changed, do not allow his reasoning patterns to change. We can use his new found beliefs to bring about "bad" results, even as his old beliefs did, so long as he reasons about things the same way. If he has previously wrecked his life by steering it too far to the left, make sure he overreacts now by steering it too far the the right. Touch the sensitive bruises in his memory so that he continually recoils into imbalanced thinking. Continually pest his imagination with the pervasive Arminianism that we have cultivated in his society. Keep his eyes focused on that "error" alone so that he thinks he's safe and "discerning." Meanwhile, we shall attack him from the other side now, without detection.

N.B.: Our ultimate goal is worldwide blasphemy against our enemy's name, and there are many ways we can get this result. Remember: the end justifies the means. Even though our father detests Calvinism, we shall try to use it to our advantage, just as we have in the past.

Flatter your patient into pride by suggesting that he's growing into great humility through his Calvinism. If he increases his theological studies, make sure he acquires books that are preoccupied with refuting "the other error," rather than allowing him to read in areas in which we now plan to attack by stealth. Make sure he spends more time reading these books than his bible. Plant false dilemmas in his mind, and then flatter the patient with thoughts of his own logical consistency.

I must attend to other affairs for now (i.e. encouraging responses to Danish cartoons), so more on this later.

Insincerely yours,

Here is the second letter (click).


Anonymous said...

Very good. Very well written Tony. If only I'd seen this before I spent a year or so as an obnoxious hyper-Calvinist!

Of course, I'm still obnoxious - just no longer a hyper-calvinist!

Martin Thorley

ResponsiveReader said...

I saw this on the C & C list, and it was just great. I love it.