I thought the first half of this book was pretty interesting. It held my attention for about a week or two. But for the last section, I don't feel likI thought the first half of this book was pretty interesting. It held my attention for about a week or two. But for the last section, I don't feel like it's adding anything new. I'm reviewing it now, even though I still have a few chapters left.
I really liked a handful of quotes and sections, which I think I'll reference and use later. I particularly enjoyed how Screwtape fully understands God's power and position. He later refutes that he does, but when he originally states it, that was probably my favorite part.
Here are a few of the passages I bookmarked; I felt each of one these on a very personal and/or guilty level. This book had a particular way of backwardly reinforcing the validity of God, at the same time as making me feel incredibly guilty for falling prey to all the traps:
"It is funny how mortals always picture us as putting things into their monds: in reality our best work is done by keeping things out."
"One must face the fact that all the talk about His love for men, and His service being perfect freedom, is not (as one would gladly believe) mere propaganda, but an appalling truth. He really DOES want to fill the universe with a lot of loathsome little replicas of Himself--creatures whose life, on its miniature scale, will be qualitatively like His own, not because He has absorbed them but because their wills freely conform to His. We want cattle who can finally become food; He wants servants who can finally become sons. we want to suck in, He wants to give out. We are empty and would be filled; He is full and flows over. Our war aim is a world in which Our Father Below has drawn all other being into himself; the Enemy wants a world full of being united to Him but still distinct."
"He can be taught to enjoy kneeling beside the grocer on Sunday just because he remembers that the grocer could not possibly understand the urbane and mocking world which he inhabited on Saturday evening; and contrariwise, to enjoy the bawdy and blasphemy over the coffee with these admirable friends all the more because he is aware of a 'deeper', 'spritual' world within him which they cannot understand. You see the idea--the worldly friends touch him on one side and the grocer on the other, and he is the complete, balanced, complex man who sees round them all. Thus, while being permanently treacherous to at least tow sets of people, he will feel, instead of shame, a continual undercurrent of self-satisfaction."
Speaking on a "vague, though uneasy, feeling that he hasn't been doing very well lately": "This time uneasiness needs careful handling. If it gets too strong, it may wake him up and spoil the whole game. On the other hand, if you suppress it entirely--which, by the by, the Enemy will probably not allow you to do--we lose an element in the situation which can be turned to good account. If such a feeling is allowed to live, but not allowed to become irresistible and flower into real repentance, it has one invaluable tendency. It increases the patient's reluctance to think about the Enemy. All humans at nearly all times have some such reluctance; but when thinking of him involves facing and intensifying a whole vague cloud of half-conscious guilt, this reluctance is increased tenfold. They hate every idea that suggests Him, just as men in financial embarrassment hate the very sight of a pass-book. In this state, your patient will not omit, but he will increasingly dislike, his religious duties. He will think about them as little as he feels he decently can beforehand, and forget them as soon as possible when they are over. A few weeks ago youh ad to TEMPT him to unreality and inattention in his prayers; but now you will find him opening his arms to you and almost begging you to distract his purpose and benumb his heart. He will WANT his prayers to be unreal, for he will dread nothing so much as effective contact with the Enemy. His aim will be to let sleeping worms lie."...more
I'd recommend the first 4 or 5 chapters of this book to EVERYONE. Especially people who are married or want to be married. The attention it gives to fI'd recommend the first 4 or 5 chapters of this book to EVERYONE. Especially people who are married or want to be married. The attention it gives to focusing on WHY people are married, and that we are literal children of God, and that we will create children in heaven is what I loved most. Being reminded of that perspective on the purpose of sex, instead of a purely physical one, is so helpful. And the book doesn't just give you the info like in a Sunday school lesson; it has a much deeper, honest tone that people can really take to heart. As far as the rest of the book goes, it was good; really good. Most of the info was pretty obvious (to me, anyways), but it was nice to read it all spelled out. I think a lot of the info in the book you can pretty much figure out on your own--especially since each marriage is unique. But it always helps to have good things reiterated. People who are scared or grossed out by sex should definitely read the whole thing, and also find MORE literature or people to talk to about the wholesome side of sexual intimacy....more
Actually, I didn't finish this book. It had the same feeling and depth as The Work and the Glory, and the Kingdom of the Crown, but I just wasn't feelActually, I didn't finish this book. It had the same feeling and depth as The Work and the Glory, and the Kingdom of the Crown, but I just wasn't feeling it. Others liked it more than I did, but I could tell the writing was still superb. I just wasn't into the story as much....more
This series is obviously fiction, but very helpful in understanding what Christ may have gone through during his ministry, and what his diciples may hThis series is obviously fiction, but very helpful in understanding what Christ may have gone through during his ministry, and what his diciples may have gone through. It helped me build my testimony of his sacrifice for everyone, and of his divinity, and of the role prophets and diciples play....more
Okay, the whole series was great. I read these at the perfect time in my life. I was sucking in as much spirituality and guidance as possible. I readOkay, the whole series was great. I read these at the perfect time in my life. I was sucking in as much spirituality and guidance as possible. I read these between 6th and 8th grade. Great stories, great detail and overall accuracy of the actual truth. They helped me understand what the early saints may have gone through as well as what Joseph Smith must have suffered in restoring the gospel....more