Saturday, January 08, 2011

C. S. Lewis's Classic Look at Liar's Work

"Readers are advised to remember that 
the devil is a liar. Not everything Screwtape 
says should be assumed to be true 
even from how own angle."      

Source: Preface, Screwtape Letters, C. S. Lewis.

C. S. Lewis's advice about Screwtape, a chief devil, and the Liar behind him, increases in importance as a reader progresses along each page. As pages turn, the mind of the liar is revealed to those with eyes to see and spiritual minds prepared..

Lies, more than anything, are central to Screwtape's strategy-advice to a junior devil, whom any liar wants to proceed and succeed in unsettling believers. One must attack truth and Truth. No attempt to turn someone away from belief in God as revealed in Christ can get anywhere without planting lies intended to sprout into doubt; doubt then can be nudged into full unbelief, over time, and then into slander against God. In other words, lies about God have a big objective: to break down the soul.

A broad overview of the effects of lies and subtle nudges is in Jesus' parable of the sower. There He prepared others about the ease of being too tender in faith to stand, of being easily pulled aside, then disillusioned. Even distractions of worries and pleasures of the world can work strongly against those who think their faith is already strong enough.  

Many a believer has been led onto side roads. Oh, how persuasive to a believer can be the Liar's words! Screwtape also demonstrates that sometimes ridicule is needed, for it can be quite effective is used well...for the believer to fear it and for other doubters to use it. This fits well with the use of false accusations and name-calling, according to the Liar.

Overall, all methods of hatred of God intend to break down what one once believed about what is good or worthy, what is part of awareness that one is beloved of God (see, e.g., John 3:16).  

Really, no writer has exceeded the Oxford and Cambridge professor, C. S. Lewis, in assembling such real examples of how Darkness works, as he did in the classic assemblage of letters of Liar's advice to his under-devils. Screwtape boasts from the dregs of a hell, selling his words as cleverer, more attractive, and most intelligent of any good counsel--all part of his package of lies. Screwtape Letters remains a good study for writers attempting analogy or metaphor. Most of all, however, an excellent study in spiritually intelligent observation needed by the growing Christian or seeker, young or old. Wherever there is deliberate imposition of disorder, loudness, hatred, and vicious attack...there are the Liar and his minions, clamoring for more souls to feed their appetite. 

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