VIDEO The King Is Coming, Gaithers

11 For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God.  12 So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God. --Roman 14:11-12 KJV

11 For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God.
12 So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.
–Roman 14:11-12 KJV


Sept 18, 2012

Music video by Bill & Gloria Gaither performing The King Is Coming, featuring Gaither Vocal Band [Live].

(P) (C) 2012 Spring House Music Group. All rights reserved

The Screwtape Letters Summary and Quotes

 

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ABOUT THE BOOK:

The Screwtape Letters by C.S.  Lewis is a classic masterpiece of religious satire that entertains readers with its sly and ironic portrayal of human life and foibles from the vantage point of Screwtape, a highly placed assistant to “Our Father Below.” At once wildly comic, deadly serious, and strikingly original, C.S. Lewis’s The Screwtape Letters is the most engaging account of temptation—and triumph over it—ever written.

SUMMARY AND NOTES:

In The Screwtape Letters C. S. Lewis takes an opposite approach to teaching important lessons about following Jesus, by using points from the view of a demon named Screwtape – A senior devil whose letters of advice to his nephew, and apprentice tempter. There are alot of valuable lessons that can be learned from this classic work of C.S. Lewis that holds valuable for us today. This post will merely scratch the surface on this topic. I encourage you to buy the book and analyze the points of each chapter for lessons that apply to your life.
Click here to pick up a copy from Amazon: The Screwtape Letters

“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. They themselves are equally pleased by both errors, and hail the materialist and the magician with the same delight.” (Preface, p.3)

Here is a brief summary of each of Screwtape’s thirty-one letters that advise Wormwood how to tempt his “patient” (who becomes a Christian between letters one and two):

  • Make him preoccupied with ordinary, “real” life—not arguments or science.

“”It sounds as if you supposed that argument was the way to keep him out of the Enemy’s clutches. That might have been so if he had lived a few centuries earlier. At that time humans still knew pretty well when a thing was proved and when it was not; and if it was proved they really believed it. They still connected thinking with doing and were prepared to alter their way of life as the result of a chain of reasoning. But what with the weekly press and other such weapons, we have largely altered that. Your man has been accustomed, ever since he was a boy, to having a dozen incompatible philosophies dancing about together inside his head.” (Screwtape, ch.1, p.7-8)

  • Make him disillusioned with the church by highlighting people he self-righteously thinks are strange or hypocritical.

“Provided that any of those neighbors sing out of tune, or have boots that squeak, or double chins, or odd clothes, the patient will quite easily believe that their religion must therefore be somehow ridiculous.” (Screwtape, ch.2, p.12)

  • Annoy him with “daily pinpricks” from his mother.
  • Keep him from seriously intending to pray at all, and if that fails, subtly misdirect his focus to himself or an object rather than a Person

“It is funny how mortals always picture us as putting things into their minds: in reality our best work is done by keeping things out.” (Screwtape, ch.4, p.20)

  • Don’t hope for too much from a war [in this case, World War II] because the Enemy often lets our patients suffer to fortify them and tantalize us.

“A faith which is destroyed by a war or a pestilence cannot reallyhave been worth the trouble of destroying.” (Screwtape, ch.5, p.27)

  • Capitalize on his uncertainty, divert his attention from the Enemy to himself, and redirect his malice to his everyday neighbors and his benevolence to people he does not know.
  • Keep him ignorant of your existence, and make him either an extreme patriot or an extreme pacifist who regards his cause as the most important part of Christianity.
  • Make good use of your patient’s series of troughs and peaks (i.e., “the law of undulation”), and beware that the Enemy relies on the troughs more than the peaks.

“Our cause is never more in danger than when a human, no longer desiring, but still 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.” (Screwtape, ch.8, p.39)

  • Capitalize on tough periods by tempting him with sensual pleasures (especially sex), making him content with his moderated religion, and directly attacking his faith as merely a “phase.”

“Never forget that when we are dealing with any pleasure in its healthy and normal and satisfying form, we are, in a sense, on the Enemy’s ground. I know we have won many a soul through pleasure. All the same, it is His invention, not ours. He made the pleasures: all our research thus far has not enabled us to produce one.” (Screwtape, ch.9, p.41)

“A moderated religion is as good for us as no religion at all – and more amusing.” (Screwtape, ch.9, p.43)

  • Convince him to blend in with his new worldly acquaintances.

“All mortals tend to turn into the thing they are pretending to be.” (Screwtape, ch.10, p.46)

  • Understand the four causes of laughter (joy, fun, the joke proper, and flippancy), and shrewdly use jokes and flippancy.
  • Don’t underestimate the power of “very small sins” because “the safest road to Hell is the gradual one.”
  • Don’t allow him to experience real pleasures because they are a touchstone of reality.
  • Make him proud of his humility; use both vainglory and false modesty to keep him from humility’s true end.

“When they have really learned to love their neighbors as themselves, they will be allowed to love themselves as their neighbors.” (Screwtape, ch.14, p.65)

  • Make him live in the future rather than the present.
  • Encourage church-hopping.

“Surely you know that if a man can’t be cured of churchgoing, the next best thing is to send him all over the neighbourhood looking for the church that ‘suits’ him until he becomes a taster or connoisseur of churches.” (Screwtape, ch.16, p.72)

“The search for a ‘suitable’ church makes the man a critic where the Enemy wants him to be a pupil.” (Screwtape, ch.16, p.73)

  • Encourage gluttony through delicacy rather than excess.
  • Convince him that the only respectable ground for marriage is “being in love.”
  • Understand that the Enemy does not genuinely love humans (but we don’t know what his real motive is).
  • Don’t give up if your direct attacks on his chastity fail; try to arrange a desirable marriage.
  • Convince him to use the pronoun “my” in the fully possessive sense of ownership (e.g., “my time,” “my boots,” “my wife,” and “my God”).

“Let him have the feeling that he starts each day as the lawful possessor of twenty-four hours. Let him feel as a grievous tax that portion of this property which he has to make over to his employers, and as a generous donation that further portion which he allows to religious duties.” (Screwtape, ch.21, p.96)

  • Understand that the Enemy has filled his world full of pleasures and that you must twist them before you can use them.
  • Encourage him to embrace a “historical Jesus” and to treat Christianity as merely a means to a political end such as social justice.

“‘Believe this, not because it is true, but for some other reason.’ That’s the game.” (Screwtape, ch.23, p.109)

  • Confuse him with spiritual pride for being part of an elite set.
  • Replace “mere Christianity” with “Christianity And” by increasing his horror of “the same old thing” and thus increasing his desire for novelty.

“The horror of the Same Old Thing is one of the most valuable passions we have produced in the human heart – an endless source of heresies in religion, folly in counsel, infidelity in marriage, and inconstancy in friendship.” (Screwtape, ch.25, p.116)

“But the greatest triumph of all is to elevate this horror of the Same Old Thing into a philosophy so that nonsense in the intellect may reinforce corruption in the will. It is here that the general Evolutionary or Historical character of modern European thought (partly our work) comes in so usefully.” (Screwtape, ch.25, p.118)

  • Sow seeds of “unselfishness” during his courtship.

“A woman means byUnselfishness chiefly taking trouble for others; a man means not giving trouble to others.” (Screwtape, ch.26, p.121)

  • Twist his prayers.
  • Guard his life so that he grows old because real worldliness takes time.

“Prosperity knits a man to the World. He feels that he is ‘finding his place in it,’ while really it is finding its place in him.” (Screwtape, ch.28, p.132)

  • Defeat his courage, and make him a coward.

“He sees as well as you do that courage is not simply one of the virtues, but the form of every virtue at the testing point, which means, at the point of highest reality.” (Screwtape, ch.29, p.137)

  • Capitalize on his fatigue, and manipulate his emotions with the word “real.”
  • His end is inexplicable, but we must win in the end.

by jdm

The Screwtape Letters Summary and Quotes

 

A Heart for God

Acts 13:16-22

King David made several big mistakes in his life. Yet he was called a man after God’s own heart and was mightily used by the Lord to lead the Israelites. What set him apart was the priority he placed on his relationship with the heavenly Father.

David delighted in knowing God and sought Him earnestly. Writing, “My soul thirsts for You, my flesh yearns for You, in a dry and weary land,” he declared that God’s love was better than life. He went on to pledge that he would praise the Lord all his days (Ps. 63:1, Ps. 63:3-4).

David viewed life from a God-centered perspective. In his writings, he marveled at the Lord’s creative power in the world, relied on Him for protection and strength, and proclaimed allegiance. He also prayed fervently and frequently, lifting requests in the morning and expectantly awaiting a response (Ps. 5:3). At night he’d continue communing with God (Ps. 63:6).

Both actions—praying and meditating on God’s character—fueled his trust in the Lord. His faith sustained him throughout life: when he was a shepherd boy protecting sheep from attacks by wild animals, a young man defeating the giant Goliath, and the nation’s anointed leader escaping King Saul’s murderous plans. Whatever his circumstances, he sought the Lord and gave priority to their relationship.

The psalms reveal David’s desire to know the Lord and be known by Him. He sought God’s guidance through prayer and had a heart for Him. Jesus invites us to draw near and spend time learning from Him (Matt. 11:28-29). Have you made following Christ the priority of your life?

The Reverend God

“He sent redemption unto his people: he hath commanded his covenant for ever: holy and reverend is his name.” (Psalm 111:9)

It is most interesting that the adjective “reverend” is used only this once in the entire King James Bible. And there it applies to God, not to any man!

However, the Hebrew word so translated in this verse (yârê’) occurs therein frequently, usually being translated (some 30 times) as “terrible.” The first time it is applied to God was by Moses. “Thou shalt not be affrighted at them: for the LORD thy God is among you, a mighty God and terrible” (Deuteronomy 7:21). Note also Moses’ testimony in Deuteronomy 10:17: “For the LORD your God is God of gods, and Lord of lords, a great God, a mighty, and a terrible, which regardeth not persons, nor taketh reward.”

For those who would deny or oppose Him, “it is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God” (Hebrews 10:31). But God is also uniquely a God of love. He is a merciful and forgiving God; He is “the God of all grace” (1 Peter 5:10) and of many other wonderful attributes.

“He looketh upon all the inhabitants of the earth” (God is thus omnipresent). “He fashioneth their hearts alike” (He is omnipotent). “He considereth all their works” (He is omniscient) (Psalm 33:14-15).

“In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.” If a person truly believes the first verse of the Bible, he should be able to believe all other verses in the Bible, no matter what men or devils can say to the contrary. Our God, who has also become our Redeemer and Savior, is “eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God” (1 Timothy 1:17).

He is indeed a God of many attributes. HMM

Undivided Trinity

And when Jesus had cried with a loud voice, he said, Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit: and having said thus, he gave up the ghost. —Luke 23:46

Even when Christ Jesus died on that unholy, fly-infested cross for mankind, He never divided the Godhead. As the old theologians pointed out, you cannot divide the substance. Not all of Nero’s swords could ever cut down through the substance of the Godhead to cut off the Father from the Son.

It was Mary’s son who cried out, “Why have you forsaken Me?” It was the human body which God had given Him. It was the sacrifice that cried, the lamb about to die. It was the human Jesus. It was the Son of Man who cried.

Believe it that the ancient and timeless Deity was never separated; He was still in the bosom of the Father when He cried, “Into thy hands I commend my spirit” (Luke 23:46).

So the cross did not divide the Godhead—nothing can ever do that. One forever, indivisible, the substance undivided, three persons unconfounded.

Oh, the wonder of the ancient theology of the Christian Church! How little we know of it in our day of lightminded shallowness. How much we ought to know of it.

Lord, may I unhesitatingly believe what I can’t begin to comprehend. You are an awesome mystery. Amen.

Warnings in the Gospel

He that believeth not is condemned already. (John 3:18)

When God warns a nation or a city, a church or a person, it is a grievous sin to ignore such warning. In conservative Christianity, we believe that the Christian message does indeed contain an element of alarm, but not all Christians believe this.

Some have been taught that the Christian gospel is “good news exclusively.” They believe that the only way to explain the full meaning of the Christian gospel is to quote one verse: “Believe on the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved.”

“That is it! That is all there is to it,” they say.

They surely need to be reminded that in the use of language, it is impossible to make certain definite statements without bringing to mind that which is exactly opposite. So, when the Scriptures admonish us to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ to be saved, there comes to our mind the fact of mankind’s lost condition and the starkly plain message to those who do not believe: “He that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God” (John 3:18).

Return unto the Lord thy God

Return unto the Lord thy God.” Where we first found salvation we shall find it again. At the foot of Christ’s cross, confessing sin. Moreover, the Lord will have us obey His voice according to all that He has commanded us, and we must do this with all our heart and all our soul, and then our captivity shall end.

Often depression of spirit and great misery of soul are removed as soon as we quit our idols and bow ourselves to obedience before the living God. We may return to Zion’s citizenship, and that speedily. Lord, turn our captivity!