i didn’t know C.S. Lewis’ THE SCREWTAPE LETTERS was dedicated to J.R.R. Tolkien. Cool!
Anyway, I think that THE SCREWTAPE LETTERS (T.S.L) ranks high on my list of my favorite books on Spiritual Warfare (I use the term to include the battle with sin & temptation as well as the demon stuff)! I picked it up again to read this morning as was just struck by the wisdom and the wit of the just the first few pages.
The two opening quotes knocked me straight into submission:
From Martin Luther :-
“The best way to drive out the devil, if he will not yield to texts of Scripture, is to jeer and flout him, for he cannot bear scorn.”
From Thomas More (with old English, phew!):-
“The devil … the prowde spirite … cannot endure to be mocked.”
And a triple blow more on us humans by Lewis in the Preface …
“There are two equal and opposite errors into which our race can fall about the devils. One is to disbelieve in their existence. The other is to believe, and to feel an excessive and unhealthy interest in them.”
I don’t think I’ve really disbelieved in their existence. I’ve probably ignored them more. But, I do remember a short-lived segment (thankfully it was a SHORT couple of years) of my Christian journey when I had excessive and unhealthy interest in them. SPIRITUAL WARFARE is a REALITY for a Christian like it or not. And I believe the whole deal is much more complex than the Exorcist-kind of Deliverance ministry (which I don’t have much experience to comment on – so enough said). Reading T.S.L. made me aware of the little battles in the minds of individuals, which also has great repercussions in the social mind ( a collection of individuals) as well. And this war though already won by Christus Victor has still battles to be settled existentially here and now as we perceive it. So, while being aware of this is crucial, keeping full attention on the Christus Victor is even more Critical. That’s how I kind of center myself when things gets disorientated. My prayers and intercessions are stuck on this truth! The Battle belongs to the Lord …