Finally! A book worthy of Screwtape in the title!
In the tradition of C. S. Lewis, Farley has crafted a book worthy of being called the sequel to The Screwtape Letters.
This novel is a manual for training future deceivers from the realm below. This fictional manual contains everything a demon needs to know to keep Christians from living the life God has intended for them. Just like The Screwtape Letters, this book has a wealth of information for Christians regarding spiritual growth and how we are kept from growing.
(For those unfamiliar with Lewis' work, this book is written from a demon's viewpoint, so the “Enemy” is Jesus or God.)
Jesus said the thief comes to steal, kill, and destroy and that is the outline for this manual.
I know of no other way to convey the excellence of this book than quoting some passages.
“So despite the fact that he who is in them is greater than all of us combined, we still have one overwhelming advantage against the obtuse half-wits: many simply do not know what it means to possess the Life. They are not acquainted with the power and resources in them. Our best strategy is to occlude the Life from them, so their minds do not perceive his presence. This is effectively accomplished by means of distraction.” (90-91)
“Many of these stupid saints prefer to determine their spiritual condition through the lens of their own natural senses, lending more authority to them than to the Book itself, whenever the two appear to contradict.” (99)
“Their crucifixion with the One must go undetected. If many of them realize it as a literal and actual death and rebirth at the core of their being, it would be devastating to our cause.” (109)
“Grace. We shudder at the dreadful word scattered throughout the Book. A proper understanding of grace will render any patient nearly impervious to even our finest strategies.” (128)
“There is nothing more discouraging to us than a patient who serves the Enemy joyfully, from the heart, free of guilt or any sense of obligation.” (149)
This is a great book! It is cleverly written and contains a wealth of insight into the Christian life and how we are kept from being who God wants us to be. Read it and discuss it with your friends.
Beware, Farley steps on some toes. But those toes need to be stepped on as they are on the feet of people who are doing exactly what the demons suggest.
Go to http://operationscrewtape.com/ to watch a video and read an excerpt from the book.
Andrew Farley is lead pastor of Ecclesia, an evangelical church on the high plains of West Texas. He is the best-selling author of several books. He serves as faculty advisor for InterVarsity Christian Fellowship and frequently speaks at churches and university groups around the United States and Canada. He is also a professor of applied linguistics at Texas Tech University in West Texas, where he lives with his wife and their son. Visit www.AndrewFarley.org for more information and free resources.
Baker Publishing Group, 192 pages. Publisher's product page.
I received a complimentary egalley of this book from the publisher for the purpose of this review.