I'll never forget my first introduction to Screwtape. My own brother was on the stage at Highland Park Church talking in a rasping, sputtering voice. I was terrified: what had happened to him? I didn't know what this was all about. All I knew was that it was scaring the dickens out of me.
As with so many other good things (Solzhenitsyn, Escher, and Tolkein among them) it took an informal introduction from my brother (usually less startling than the intro to Screwtape) to point me to something worth knowing.
The Screwtape Letters was one of those things. As a speaker has said, "We learn by contrasts." Lewis showed me the goodness and love of God by contrasting it with the insatiable, engulfing appetite of Satan. Lewis showed me the limitless creativity of God by contrasting it with the panicked, twisted imitations that Satan churns out.
I hear that Screwtape (well, a Christian playing Screwtape) is taking to the stage in Chicago this season. And I think that's great. The more people that can hear Lewis' message, the better.
I don't think I'll be going to see it, though. I'd prefer to hear my brother reading it again.