Flirting with Faith

Flirting with Faith


C.S. Lewis on Devils…

posted by Joan Ball


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 a materialist and a magician with the same delight.   — C.S. Lewis.  The Screwtape Letters.  New York: Time Incorporated, 1961, p. xxxi.





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jestrfyl

posted October 31, 2009 at 12:47 am


The very best version of this great work is the audio book read by the particularly sinister yet genteel John Cleese. It is not easy to find, but well worth the effort. For those who have not read this, think Dante’s “Inferno” meets “The Office”.



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credis

posted October 31, 2009 at 7:04 am

Bradley J. Moore

posted November 2, 2009 at 6:29 am


Well said. But what is the balance? It’s not like the devil is behind every bad decision we make, or bad thing that happens. But I don’t want to deny that it exists either.
I also heard that the Screwtape Letters were being made into a creepy movie. That should be interesting.



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Joan Ball

posted November 2, 2009 at 10:13 am


There was a one-man stage show that I hoped to see, but missed when it did a run in New York. I think Lewis is calling for balance – don’t obsess, but don’t forget.



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Joan Ball

posted November 2, 2009 at 10:17 am


I would love to get my hands on that, jestrfyl. Bradley mentioned a video version that I fear will likely be more horror film than metaphor. Will be interesting to see what they do with it.



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Greg

posted November 2, 2009 at 4:51 pm


Wonderful concept to contemplate: walking the path between materialist cynicism and gratuitous and obsessive fascination.
Demons are real but much more interesting are issues dealing with what exactly is the nature of demons and how does one address challenges in that regard.
But those issues force one to return to the difficult and practical work of forwarding one’s own spiritual formation. Back to the heavy lifting.



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Edward T. Babinski

posted November 4, 2009 at 12:55 pm


C. S. Lewis took most things relatively lightly, including devils, Satan, eternal punishment, drinking at the pub, praying to saints, including the question of whether or not the Bible contains errors and myths (he said yea to both). So long as he had a nice pint of beer at the pub and a pipe to smoke and a steady job teaching what he loved, and literary friends, life was fine. Of course the death of his wife shook him up a bit, but the rest of his life was relatively a cozy Christian existence, and allowed him to suggest in a nice cozy Christian fashion in one of his apologetics books on pain that “perhaps God could even combine an eternal hell for humans with an eternal heaven for mosquitoes.” (my paraphrase) Nice, C. S., real nice, classy.



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Greg

posted November 4, 2009 at 7:45 pm


I’m not all that familiar with C.S. Lewis. I have never had time to frequent pubs, so I missed him. As the end of this work day approaches, however, the picture you painted was quite inviting. A few hours in a pub with light-hearted conversation might be just the thing.
Your post, Edward, seemed to imply his faith was a bit shallow and not at all inspiring. Did I read you correctly? Is there someone you find more worthwhile?



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Mike

posted February 11, 2010 at 4:09 am


Lewis is correct. Consider his counsel regarding the latest “game,” Dante’s Inferno, advertised during the Super Bowl of all things. It’s slogan was “Hell awaits.” That should qualify as excessive interest.



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