Former English professor to present First Baptist book review


Ruth Roberts of Little Rock will present “The Screwtape Letters” by C.S. Lewis for the monthly book review at First Baptist Church, 6501 Hazel St., at 10 a.m. Saturday in the church’s fellowship hall.

Roberts is a former Pine Bluff High School English teacher and English professor at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff and at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. She is now retired.

Roberts is the wife of the late Harold Roberts and they were former active members of Pine Bluff First Baptist Church. She wrote the latest history of First Baptist Church while a member and living at Pine Bluff. She is now an active member of Immanuel Baptist Church at Little Rock, where she serves as a substitute teacher. She has connected with a delightful travel group, making several trips each year, some short and some cross country.

“The Screwtape Letters” consists of a series of 31 admonitory letters from Screwtape, an experienced devil high in the administration of the Infernal Civil Service, to his nephew Wormwood, a junior colleague engaged in one of his earliest assignments on earth. He is to secure the damnation of a young man who has just become a Christian. The young man lives with his mother and-much to Screwtape’s delight, falls under the influence of some rich, smart, superficially intellectual, and brightly skeptical people. In spite of Wormwood’s diligence, however, the young man falls in love with a lovely Christian girl in whose home he encounters Christianity of a quality he never before imagined. Finally — and this is how Wormwood loses him — he is inopportunely killed in World War II while working in Civil Defense.

The book is fiction only in the sense that the characters and dialogue sprang from the imagination of one of the greatest modern Christian writers. In reality it deals with issues that are commonly played out in daily living. Lewis depicts life for mankind as a journey with Satan standing by to entice the traveler off the right road onto the slippery slope that leads to hell. The book provides a thorough assessment of evil, not the evil of a genocidal maniac destroying millions of people, such as Hitler or Stalin, but evil originating within an individual causing one to run roughshod over the feelings of an innocent bystander, the type of evil that starts small and grows big.

Much of the steady power of Lewis’ writings comes from his constant conviction that the human drama for everyone can end in only two ways: every person is a battlefield of cosmic forces of good and evil, and the individual cannot evade taking sides.

Following the review, door prizes and refreshments will be furnished. The public is invited to attend.