Silence by Shusuke Endo

” Silence ” by Shusuke Endo is a historical fiction story originally published in the 1960’s .

It’s 17th century Japan , Christianity is banned , and any caught worshipping are interrogated and tortured until they publicly renounce their faith . Two Portuguese Jesuit priests are sent to Japan to secretly help preserve the Japanese Christian faith and also to investigate the claim that one of their mentors has apostatized . Eventually both priests are captured and are forced to watch the Japanese torture believers unless they both abandon their faith publicly .

This story is told in the form of letters from one of the Jesuit’s which helps make it feel authentic … also there is the fact that in 17th century Japan Christians really were captured and tortured giving another layer of authenticity here . Intense is the word that comes to mind . The story deals with issues of cultural differences , pride , cowardice , persecution and faith . I should point out that the methods of torture are described in the story so this may prove too intense for some of you . This story was later turned into a movie by Martin Scorsese and it’s a good adaptation . Overall , I would recommend both the book and the movie .

Rate : Legacy read

The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis

The Screwtape Letters is a Christian fiction novel with a tongue in cheek style written by C.S. Lewis made in the 1940’s.

The story is a series of letters from an elder demon named Screwtape to his nephew demon names Wormwood . Wormwood is an incompetent temptor asked with damning a British man known as  ” The Patient ” . Each letter contains detailed tactics  as undermining God and getting man to condemn himself , with an occasional observation of human nature and the Bible . The demons don’t seem to understand love nor do they believe in human virtue .

This is one of C.S. Lewis’s most popular stories and for good reason . It is the first Christian apologetic story that I’ve read with an element of satire . It dives deep into Christian theological issues , primarily dealing with temptation while keeping a healthy sense of humor . I’d recommend this to anyone with a taste for supernatural humor as well as for those looking for a more spiritual read.