The Screwtape Letters – Set Four


The Screwtape Letters – Set Four — Letters 25-31 Please be sure to answer all questions with complete sentences. Letter XXV 1. What is the difference between “mere Christianity” and “Christianity and…”? Which is the more desirable from Screwtape’s point of view? 2. What is the “horror of the Same Old Thing”? how does it exploit the natural human experience of living in time and change? 3. How does the demand for novelty become addictive to humans? 4. What is the relationship between an ever-increasing demand for novelty on the one hand, and Fashions or Vogues on the other? 5. How can the demand for novelty (or the “horror of the Same Old Thing”) be elevated to a philosophy wherein nonsense in the intellect reinforces corruption in the will? Letter XXVI 1. How is the word “Love” ambiguous? 2. What is the difference between “Unselfishness” and “Charity”? 3. What does Screwtape mean when he writes of a standard of Unselfishness that depends on emotional resources that will die away? What does Screwtape hope will happen to the “patient” and his fiancé? 4. What is the Generous Conflict Illusion? How can it cause generosity to become a source of bitterness and conflict between family members? 5. What additional causes of resentment does Screwtape seek to foster just below the surface of consciousness to keep conflict simmering? Letter XXVII 1. Why does Screwtape think so little of human will power in prayer? 2. What is the role of false spirituality in discouraging petitionary prayer? 3. What intellectual difficulty does Screwtape suggest be used to discourage petitionary prayer? 4. Screwtape maintains that the intellectual difficulty is fostered by human misunderstanding of the nature of time. Does God inhabit or experience time as we do? How does understanding God’s freedom from the limitations of time solve the intellectual difficulty? 5. What is the Historical Point of View? How do we see it working in our own lives? Letter XXVIII 1. What is the “main point” which Wormwood has forgotten? 2. Why should Wormwood guard the “patient’s” life just now? 3. How does Screwtape believe time can be made to work on Hell’s side, against the “patient”? 4. What important differences does Screwtape see between youth and age in their respective attitudes toward life and death? Letter XXIX 1. Why can’t Hell confer bravery on human beings? 2. Why, for Screwtape’s purposes, is hatred best combined with fear? 3. What is the danger (from Screwtape’s point of view) of inducing cowardice in human beings? 4. Why does Screwtape believe God created a dangerous world? 5. What is the best way to induce the “patient” to perform a cowardly act? Letter XXX 1. What is the emotional attack that can be made on the “patient’s” faith with the help of (a) moderate fatigue and (b) of scenes of death and destruction? 2. What is the “general rule” that has been established among humans regarding the relation between experience and spiritual reality? 3. How does Screwtape seek to use the “general rule” against the “patient”? Letter XXXI 1. How does Screwtape express his anger with Wormwood in the first two paragraphs? 2. What do we learn from this letter about what the experience of death may be like? 3. What is the “defiled, wet, clinging garment” the patient feels as though he has taken off? 4. What is it like for the dead “patient” to see God? What are the “pains he may still have to encounter,” but which he will embrace?

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