Wednesday, February 16, 2011

C.S. Lewis, Max McLean, and your affectionate Uncle Screwtape

As previously stated, I got to see The Screwtape Letters in Portland on Saturday. :-)
I am so blessed to have gone. I wish I could just round up people and drive them into the theater! It was absolutely amazing and really made you chew on some thought-provoking stuff.

Although I knew it was going to be good, I wasn't prepared for how entertaining it would be. It never let you get remotely bored. I just wish I could see it several more times because there is so much to take in and think about.

I've read The Screwtape Letters and listened to Focus on the Family's rendition (not as good as reading the book) but it was very different to see it acted/narrated. It was also interesting to see what they choose to keep in and what they had to cut out. I think they did a good job preserving it's C.S. Lewis-ness.

The music was amazing. The acting, lighting, props...all wonderful.

You can see an interesting interview with McLean here. You can also see his narration of Mark on Youtube.

A lot of portions really stuck out to me. Something about hearing things from the other direction really gives you a wakeup call.

Do not be deceived, Wormwood. Our cause is never more in danger than when a human, no longer desiring, but still intending, to do our Enemy's will, looks round upon a universe from which every trace of Him seems too have vanished, and asks why he has been forsaken, and still obeys.

In a week or two you will be making him doubt whether the first days of his Christianity were not, perhaps, a little excessive. Talk to him about 'moderation in all things'. If you can once get him to a point of thinking 'religion is all very well up to a point', you can feel quite happy about his soul. A moderate religion is as good for us as no religion at all--and more amusing.

What he says on friends and conforming or becoming a different person depending on who you are around....and therefore being disloyal to all sets of acquaintances and then only feeling vaguely self-satisfied, self-righteous, or just shameful was extremely interesting. The whole section is something I think a lot of us young people could do some studying on.

Indeed the safest road to Hell is the gradual one--the gentle slope, soft underfoot, without sudden turnings, without milestones, without signposts.

If this portion was in the play, I missed it. I need to include it though because it is something I need to hear.

The most alarming thing in your last account of the patient that he is making none of those confident resolutions which marked his original conversion. No more lavish promises of perpetual virtue, I gather; not even the expectation of an endowment of 'grace' for life, but only a hope for the daily and hourly pittance to meet the daily and hourly temptation! This is very bad.

Or do you not realize that the patient's death, at this moment, is precisely what you want to avoid? ...he will almost certainly be lost to us if he is killed tonight. This is so obvious that I am ashamed to write it...They, of course, do tend to regard death as the prime evil and survival as the greatest good. But that is because we have taught them to do so. Do not let us be infected by our own propaganda.

The portion that is in Chapter 31 of the book was extremely powerful in the play. We, one day, will stand in the presence of our living God! There, devils can only cower.

C.S. Lewis is a genius. The end.

I'm so glad I got to see this. I want to read the whole book again. I hope we can have more amazing, well-done productions that turn our thoughts straight towards our Savior (however mixed up the direction might sound).

Thanks for reading,
Miss Pickwickian


Happy Homemaker said...

Wouldn't it be great if WE put on Screwtape Letters?

dura mater said...

I'm so glad we went to this. I'm enjoying the book all over again now.

Anna said...

I so wanted to see this play!!!!! Is it still in Portland?
I loved this post, many thanks for your ever thoughtful posts! They always give me something to think about.
~Anna P.