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71st Anniversary for 25th Screwtape Letter

October 17, 2012

Presidential debates aren’t the only place for factual errors…it seems I unintentionally gave the wrong information on my Twitter post last week. I claimed it was the 71st anniversary of the publication of the 25th Screwtape letter (on 10/10). Actually today is that landmark! But, wait, wasn’t the book published in 1942? Wouldn’t that make it the 70th? Read on…

Keeping track of the dates that certain events happen in the life of C.S. Lewis can be challenging and sometimes confusing. The Screwtape Letters was first published in the U.K. earlier this year in 1942. An American edition came out in 1943, but the material was originally printed in weekly installments in a publication call The Guardian, and they came out in 1941!

However, no matter what date you choose to celebrate the excellent material found in The Screwtape Letters is fine with me. Specifically, the 25th letter is very interesting in a number of ways. First, you will notice from the picture that this letter included a subtitle when first published that is not in the book version. Actually very few of the letters when initially released in The Guardian had subtitles. This one was “The Enemy Loves Platitudes.

While you can see the phrase “merely Christian” if you look close enough at the picture, you will actually find the expression “mere Christianity” in this letter, too! Also, in this letter we find Screwtape encouraging people to add to their Christian faith and make that issue the focus of their faith.

An interesting quote from this letter is Screwtape admitting:

“He (God) has balanced the love of change in them by a love of permanence.”

He further notes:

“The pleasure of novelty is by its very nature more subject than any other to the law of diminishing returns”

Do you have a favor quote or idea from this letter? Let me know by leaving a comment below!

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