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Catholic Review of: The Snakebite Letters

Item Details

Author:  Peter J. Kreeft, Ph.D.

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This item received 4 stars overall. (06/25/2009)

Orthodoxy: Completely orthodox.
Reading Level: Intermediate

SparkyBy Sparky (CO) - See all my reviews


Commentary on the Catholic Church in America as it relates to the devil.

Evaluator Comments

When C.S. Lewis wrote The Screwtape Letters, he hit upon many very important points about the Christian faith and how they can be subverted and changed to fit something the devil can use to get us. Peter Kreeft, in his book Snakebite Letters: Devilishly Devious Secrets for Subverting Society As Taught in Tempter's Training School, follows the same satirical idea as Lewis to write about the situation in America.

The chapters of the book are written as letters from Snakebite, a higher ranking devil, to his trainee Braintwister. They cover some of the many parts of the "strategy" of the devil in corrupting the society, morality, and Church in America. The topics covered can be divided into four parts: sin and personal morality, sex, Church and liturgy, and Catholic higher education. Using humor and deep insight, Kreeft's Snakebite teaches his young ward the intricasies of tempting the young American mind, and warping it to believe in everything and nothing all at the same time.

With chapter titles such as "How to Shoot Chastity in the Head", "How to Sabotage Worship", and "What has the Lowerarchy Done to the Liturgy", the satire never ends. The liberal thought process is revealed as Snakebite talks about subverting the modern view of sex and abortion, killing good sacred liturgical music and language, or messing with the worship. Even Catholic colleges with hippie theology professors and fluffy courses come under discussion in the letters.

At the end of the book is another letter, titled "Satan's Strategy for the Third Millennium", written as if by Satan himself.  What is written in this letter alone is worth picking the book up. I laughed out loud at the references to John Paul II.

This book is a great addition to the "devils' letters" genre that reveals so much about the problems of modern life. It sheds light on many of the issues of Catholic identity that are constantly warped and attacked by the media, social, and political elite, and brings them to the front to be addressed.

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