Here we go! It's your time to review books -- both good and bad. Let's discuss deeply -- the helpful (and why) -- the hurtful (and why). We had a great discussion on another (now defunct) web site.
Let me toss out a few titles I love:
The Four Loves by C. S. Lewis
The Screwtape Letters by C. S. Lewis
I know -- a pattern -- but Lewis absolutely nails it in The Four Loves:
“To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements. Lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket, safe, dark, motionless, airless, it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. To love is to be vulnerable.”
And then on Eros (Intimate) Love, he writes: “Now Eros makes a man really want, not a woman, but one particular woman. In some mysterious but quite indisputable fashion the lover desires the Beloved herself, not the pleasure she can give.”
Short, chunky, and introverted -- C. S. Lewis just made me fall in love with him. He knew the heart of the woman. Sigh.
I chose The Screwtape Letters because it shows all the tricks and lies that Satan uses to try and tear us apart. Here is a lesson from Screwtape to his protege Wormwood:
(On marriage from letter 18) Even under Slubgob you must have learned at college the routine technique of sexual temptation, and since, for us spirits, this whole subject is one of considerable tedium (though necessary as part of our training) I will pass it over. But on the larger issues involved I think you have a good deal to learn. The Enemy's demand on humans takes the form of a dilemma; either complete abstinence or unmitigated monogamy. Ever since our Father's first great victory, we have rendered the former very difficult to them. The latter, for the last few centuries, we have been closing as a way of escape. We have done this through the poets and novelists by persuading he humans that a curious, and usually short-lived, experience which they call "being in love" is the only respectable ground for marriage; that marriage can, and ought to, render this excitement permanent; and that a marriage which does not do so is no longer binding. This idea is our parody of an idea that came from the Enemy.