Screwtape Questions-Midterm

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Either to disbelief or believe in excess. Bad to not believe in demons because then we disregard their existence and teachings in Scripture. Believing in excess you become obsessed with them and invite them in. When we have unhealthy interest we loose sight of truth.
According to Lewis, what two mistaken beliefs about devils can human beings hold? What do you see as the dangers inherent in each view? [What is your belief about the literal existence or non-existence of devils? Why do you believe as you do?]
That God created all things so therefore he made demons, demons started out pure but chose to fall.
Review the Catechism of the Catholic Church, What is taught about demons? How do we know they do exist? CCC 289-395
Rejection of God and his reign over creation and once man dies without grace no chance in heaven.
What was the irrevocable sin? CCC 392-393
He's a liar, reminds us that the most effective and convincing lie is a twisted truth, because he wants us to seek the truth
We are told that the narrator is unreliable. What does the author's evaluation of Screwtape have in common with Jesus' words about the devil in John 8:44? Why would Lewis tell us that the voice through which he is speaking is unreliable? (See CCC)
Something that makes fun of normal, humorous imitation of literary or musical work or style
Define parody.
Our father below- the devil, and devil identifies God as the "enemy" and human as "patience"
What specific items from scripture or Christian theology do you see parodied in these letters? Add to your list as you read the rest of the book.
Telling us Satan needs to be taken serious not to serious because hell will always be a twisted, imperfect reflection of heaven. So its easier to comprehend on a less serious note. The opposite of God is nothing
Why do you think Lewis presents Hell as a parody of Heaven, rather than with more traditional images of "fire and brimstone"? What serious theological claim about Hell might Lewis be making through his use of parody?
Materialism- valued because it distracts humans from eternal things of God with temporal things of world. Devil's cause is distraction from the unfamiliar wants to keep us from challenges.
Throughout the book, Lewis satirizes several modern philosophies by having Screwtape remark: that Hell can take credit for them, or for human beings' response to them. In letter 1, Wormwood is encouraged to keep the patient devoted to "materialism" as the "philosophy of the future." Based on inferences you can draw form this, what is this philosophy and why is it viewed as an ally to the devil's cause? For that matter, what is the devil's cause?
Argument awakens reason and leads to God's truth
Wormwood is steered away from using rational argument. Why is argument seen as problematic?
Reincarnation, God became human and devil can never be human. The incarnation reveals that God is eternal father, son is one and same God, as revelation he is both God's approach to human
What is the "abominable advantage" that God has over Satan? In what way is this advantage also an advantage to Christians? (see Letter 4 and read Hebrews 1:1-4; 2:10-18)
Church becomes ally because human nature leads us to be judgmental to one another. Represents our comfort zones and capability, but the decorations distract us from Church with capital 'C.' When it becomes how we look and about us instead of the Church, the people. When we allow it to become something or someone it's not.
In Letter 2, it is suggested that the Church (Capital 'C' means the people) itself is an ally to the diabolical cause. In what sense? How important do you think specific expressions of the church (lower case 'c' means the building) are? When can such things become barriers, rather than aids, to worshiping and serving God?
Because its repetition and its not sincere. Communication with God, before it can become individual you have to learn. Learn by communication with family, peer groups, etc. and eventually going into society. You practice to make prayer better.
Why would prayer be seen as 'parrot-talk'? How can we make prayer what it should be-
communication with God?
Petition/Intercession- ask for needs
Adoration/Praise- worship
Contrition/Atonement/Supplication- sorrow for sins
Thanksgiving
Identify and explain level of prayer.
We are creations of habit and don't like to break habit and out of comfortable. Introduce to unhealthy fear which will prevent us from what we need to do material things, we distracted by what stuff we are collecting. Tiredness distracts us from prayer and communication, keep ourselves to busy, never take time to stop and prayer
According to Screwtape, true, effective, prayer is very difficult for us because 'humans themselves do not desire it as much as they suppose,' and are easily distracted. Explain whether or not not you think is true
It entails the desire and resolution if he follow through
Why is conversion more than just an internal change?
undermining faith and preventing formation of virtues
According to Screwtape, what is the real business of demons?
European War; One is more aware of mortality so he is more aware of death then complacent time; death in nursing home is the people's way of giving (more complacent and selfish) and death can tempt them; they have another day to live they are fine even though on death bed, mortality is faced on battle field while nursing home lie to people
What events prompts Wormwood to become "delirious with joy"? Why are deaths in wartime less desirable than in more complacent times? Why does he think it would be better for the demonic cause if humans died in nursing homes? What is the lie Screwtape says can be found in the nursing home that isn't found on the battlefield?
CCC 164 and 1521, Luke 6: 20-26, John 15: 18-21, Romans 5: 1-5, 1 Peter 5: 10, and Colossians 1:24. Put in Scripture and Labeled 3C
In Letter 5, we are told that "..suffering is an essential part of Redemption.." Using Scripture, find a text that you think supports this statement and explain your choice. (Carefully consider the context of the verse.)
When we make it about ourselves, for example Hitler tried to do something good but used religion to turn it around and it became about himself and not about God. Causes absorb time and energy, causes displace our time with God.
In Letter 7, Wormwood is told to 'nurse' the patient into thinking that his religion is part of some greater 'cause.' How can a cause, however good it may be in itself, become evil? Provide some examples either from history or personal experience.
Yes, it's an obligation to defend faith, country, family. Not every war is just but if the cause is just then we fight.
Letter 7 raises the issue of pacifism as a cause. Is it permissible or desirable for Christians to serve in the armed forces or to support war? What does the Bible say about war and appropriate or inappropriate warfare? (See the CCC on Just War)
Half spirit and half animal
Define humans as amphibians.
We are created in his image and likeness, we are his heirs to the kingdom
What does it mean to be a replica of God? (CCC 355)
Series of troughs and peaks we experience repeatedly during life applies to spiritual and physical lives. In the troughs you come out learning something, you grow because you pushed yourself to the peaks
*Define the "law of undulation"- why do the 'troughs' in life encourage more growth than the 'peeks'?*
To keep us on right path; help us grow with God. We gain advice from Christians more experienced.
Why would spiritual direction be helpful to our prayer life?
Because of free will and won't force himself upon us because of the free will
Why are being irresistible and indisputable 2 weapons God doesn't use to get humans?
1) Joy-- cause unknown to demons, because its an earthly reflection of a Heaven phenomenon
2) Fun-- related to joy; promotes charity, courage, and contentment
3) Joke Proper-- depends on sudden perception of incongruity; can be means of destroying shame under the guys of a joke that allows us to get off with what we shouldn't
4) Flippancy-- deadens intellect, brings apathy, keeps people away from God, mocks Gods goodness, and keeps man from being his best

Flippancy is the deadliest of all- humor excuses us from shame when we can laugh at our errors than those less shameful
Identify and explain the 4 causes of human laughter. Explain which one Screwtape considers the best of all for the demonic purpose.
God is the real cause of joy. Comes from obedience of God, our spiritual life
Screwtape doesn't understand the real cause of joys. What is the real cause of joy? (read John 15: 5-11 and 16:19-24 before considering your answer)
1) Reason: To allow us to be cleansed from sin; because Adam and Eve's failure- they never asked for forgiveness so Jesus knew we would need it to get to heaven.
2) A priest is the closes thing to Jesus and we receive graces necessary to overcome sins and we are aware of our sins.
3) Result: Pure relief of cleansed soul, forgiveness, knowledge of second chance to do better
Why did Jesus institute the Sacrament of Reconciliation? Why is it important to confess our sin to God through the means of a priest? What can we expect as a result?
Safest road to Hell is the gradual one- the one without slopes and obstacles (Matthew chapter 7)
According to Screwtape, what is the safest road to Hell? What do you think he means by this? Explain in terms of Matthew 7: 13-14.
'Pains and pleasures' are a reality, experienced in real time.
Dangerous because first he doesn't want us to experience pleasure because he can't, one extreme to the other can bring us closer to God. (with pain we cry to God for help and with pleasure we cry in thanksgiving)
What trait do "pains and pleasures" share, and why are they dangerous to the demonic agenda?
(Page 63/64-underlined in blue) To read a book he liked and to walk down to the Old Mill and have tea by himself
What were the 2 concrete things that the patient enjoyed that lead to his conversion, or reawakening?
When we get ourselves out of habit of attending mass and participating in our faith, we will eventually loose sight of God. (Quote on page 67)
What causes a person to "lose" his faith? Is it something that just happens, or is it a gradual thing? Explain.
(Page 72) That he loves the hairless bipeds, which are us
What does Screwtape claim is God's most "repellent" trait?
1) Learning how to acknowledge or gifts for others
2) Become self-less
3) Because of our human nature to want and to not give (arrogance)
What is true humility? What does God want us to do with our humility? Why is it difficult to achieve true humility? Read Psalms 8 and 100, how might these help us be truly humble?
Gluttony of Delicacy (lack of humility) and Gluttony of Excess (taking more than needed). She's guilty because she has the 'all i want' state of mind, the gluttony of wanting everything her way
Define gluttony. How is the patient's mother guilty of the sin of gluttony, even though she doesn't eat much?
Because Screwtape and all demons are incapable of knowing God's love. They chose to deny the love so they cut off the chance to know God and his love
Why does Screwtape think God's idea of love is impossible?
1) The 'dilemma' is either complete abstinence or unmitigated monogamy
2) The joke is a couple becoming one flesh, humans think they mean they are in love but Screwtape means sexual intercourse
3) The truth is a transcendental relation is set between 2 and must be eternally enjoyed or endured, the transcendental relation is suppose to produce an affect to enjoy but it can easily be mistaken for obedience
What does Screwtape identify as the 'dilemma' God had placed humans in regarding sexual behavior? In Letter 18, what is described as both the 'joke' and the 'truth'? What is meant by this? Compare this with Paul's statement in 1 Corinthians 6: 12-20, what impact does this have on our relationships?
If they aren't of same religion they have to choose what religion the children will practice.
In Letter 29, "..marriage..has it's uses" for drawing humans away from God. How do you think marriage might be an obstacle to faith, for both men and women?
1) Chastity is purity with God and not to engage in sexual intercourse till marriage.
2) Chastity isn't unhealthy, although society tells us it is both unhealthy and unnatural to not engage in sexual intercourse before marriage and to save yourself for husband
Define chastity. Is chastity unhealthy? What does society tell us about chastity today, is it unhealthy or unnatural?
Physical aura on desire- insists society is unrealistic and we fall in searching- no satisfaction on it, we fall
What do you think society looks for in the 'ideal man' and the 'ideal women'? What harm can be done by exalting such ideals?
Ourselves because we make that choice to not or to love God. Devil can push us to choose to not to love God but ultimately we make the choice to not love God
In letter 19 it gives us an idea on why Satan believes he was removed from Heaven. Using the Catechism, research the truth to this question. Read Romans 8: 35-39, how does this text cast ironic light on Screwtape's claim that Hell's effort to discover 'what God is really up to can't surely fail to succeed'? In other words, who can truly separate us from God?
Man and time doing what you want at will- time is from God, and is fleeting
In Letter 21, what idea does Screwtape identify as a curious assumption and why? Read Psalm 90 and James 4: 13-17, explain how these verses relate to and discuss this "curious assumption".
Our bodies are our own- we are bought at a price of 20 pieces of silver, God doesn't belong to us we belong to him
What similar assumption is made regarding the human body? How does Paul counter this assumption in 1 Corinthians 6: 19-20?
(Page 120) Hell is the noise. Soothing and calming if its true music I like, lyrics can be prayer. Silence it to loud
In Letter 22, Screwtape vows that the demons "will make the whole universe a noise in the end." What does noise represent for Screwtape? What associations does noise have for you? What role does music play in your spiritual life? What about silence?
A condition that arises when our love of change gets twisted into an insatiable demand for novelty. (Letter 25)
What is the "horror of the same old thing?"
The game is sense of false and selflessness. Players make own desires clear and 'unselfishly summit to others wishes.'
Convince themselves they're putting others first while still being self-righteous.
Flaw: it's dishonest, leads to false sense of martyrdom and ultimately leads to anger and bitterness among the players.
In Letter 26, Screwtape talks about the game of "Generous Conflict Illusion." Explain this game, what is fundamentally wrong with this game?
To break up seriousness in letters, comic relief. Reminds us Satan isn't all wise and powerful, subject to pride and peevishness. Anger has tendency to distort our character
Why do you think Lewis inserts the episode regarding the centipede into the letters, particularly at this point in the book? Keep in mind the epigraphs and a reference in Letter 22, to how the young women would view Screwtape.
(Pages 124-127) He is unhistorical because it's an artificial construct composed largely of researchers own assumption and opinions. No value because artificial construct maybe worshiped but as such isn't the object of true worship. (Page 126 Resurrection and Redemption)
What is the significance of the "historical" Jesus? Why might there be no value in the search of this "historical" Jesus?
Jeremiah Ch 9:23-24, Romans 12:3, and Proverbs 11:2
Pride is the sin of all evil. Identify some of the warnings in Scripture against pride.
*Possibly a bonus*
Patients new friends hold only to essential tenants of Christian Faith, don't fall into trap because it uses faith as means to some other end
Explain what Screwtape might mean when mentioning 'mere Christianity' vs. 'Christianity end.'
1) Church is a gathering population of humans who accept Jesus' teachings.
2) Ecclesia "summoned" or "to call" an assembly congregation, it's the Church.
3) We need each other to stay motivated, to keep that fire within us going
Define Church and it's Greek ecclesia. Why is it important to attend Mass in a community?
Operating under the historical point of view, readers will ask every question of ancient writers statement except whether or not it's true. This writer is never regarded as a possible source of knowledge, this point of view then is fundamentally arrogant.
Screwtape favors it because it promotes a disconnection between generations, doesn't encourage present to learn from past
Define and explain the "Historical Point of View." Why is it so favorable to Screwtape?
Birth is necessary and precludes naturally to death
According to Screwtape, what does God regard as the most important thing about birth?
Lack of bravery and courage; inability to stand up for beliefs and value due to social pressures
Define Cowardice.
Died and went to Heaven and/or purgatory
What is implied that has happened to the patient?
So humans would have to confront real moral issues- implies death or destruction. God created a safe world with original sin, which made it unsafe
What is the motive for creating a dangerous world, according to Screwtape, in Letter 29?
1) Bravery, it's not a viable option because demons can't produce virtue only exploit them
2) Demons can produce hatred exacerbating, over emphasizing, the tensions humans feel under stress
3) Danger in cowardice despite demons effort, it's through cowardice man may recognize full extent of weakness and significance, such as self-knowledge may lead to penance and draw us closer to God
In Letter 29, three options are discussed for handling the patient. What are these options? Why is the first not a viable option? How can demons bring about the second option? Finally, what is the danger to the demonic agenda in bringing about the third option?
1) Deception --devil is a liar
2) Division --experience contrary drives and uses past experiences to separate us from future en-devours
3) Diversion (separate and distraction) --distracted in priorities, experience fears and anxiety, and focus on lesser things to avoid greater good
4) Discouragement (lack of motivation) --good intentions are poisoned, experience not good enough, experience fatigue and allow it to overwhelm us, and give up instead of giving our best.
What are the 4 tactics of the devil?
Glubose
Who is the demon that is a colleague of Wormwood and Screwtape and also in charge of the mother?
Scabtree
A devil and acquaintance of Screwtape who sees war as an excellent opportunity for devils to corrupt the human race.
Triptweeze
A fellow devil of Wormwood.
Slubgob
A devil who teaches young devils about sin in college
Toadpipe
Screwtape's secretary, who occasionally transcribes Screwtape's dictations.
Slumtrinket
The devil tasked with corrupting the patient's lover.
Toadpipe
Who signed and wrote Letter 22 for Screwtape?