1. What initially prompted you to write this book?
"When I became a pastor and struggled with the responsibilities and temptations of ministry, there was no book of equal caliber to C.S. Lewis’ The Screwtape Letters to assist me in coming to grips with my new vocation. So this book is my humble attempt to fill that void."
2. This book, as you say, draws inspiration from C.S. Lewis’ The Screwtape Letters. Can you tell us a little bit more about your personal connection to Lewis’ book?
"When I was a brand new convert, struggling to understand what I believed, and why I struggled to believe, C.S. Lewis' The Screwtape Letters was handed to me by a friend. The way in which Lewis expressed temptation and faith in the context of a fictional (or not-so-fictional) experience between an imp and a Christian man helped me comprehend why I struggled to believe."
3. Your main character is a young pastor who experiences trials and temptations as he begins his ministry. Can you elaborate on your choice to make a young pastor the main character?
"There are numerous books that address the trials and afflictions of Christians, but very few that I’m aware of that focus on clergy. Specifically, the temptations that attack pastors as they seek to faithfully carry out the ministry God has laid upon them. That’s why I chose to write about the trials and temptations of a young pastor, who I created to represent every pastor at some point in his ministry."
4. Talk to us about demonic forces in the 21st century. Do you think there have been changes in the way we are tempted as Christians since the time of Lewis’ writing? And why is this a helpful way to think about demonic temptation?
"Although technology, especially the internet and social media, provide an opportunity to lament that temptation and sin is worse than it’s ever been, that’s not true. Sin, death, and Satan are always the same. They may wear different masks from one generation to the next, but the unholy trinity and their tactics have remained the same since Eden."
"I think this is helpful in the sense that we are not unique. We are tempted as Christians have always been tested and attacked by sin, death, and Satan. And as the apostle Paul writes: “The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure.” (1 Cor. 10:13)"
5. Is there any advice or thoughts you want to share with potential readers?
"This is a satire. It is a darkly humorous look at the trials and temptations of a young pastor, who represents every pastor at some point in his ministry. But, in my experience, every Christian will relate to what they read in The Withertongue Emails because, for every hour of our life, we are attacked. We are chased and hunted down by Satan's agents. And if God did not intervene to strengthen us to withstand temptation, we would be quickly overcome and ruined."
"Each email entry in The Withertongue Emails is intended to compel the reader to stop and think about their pastor, themselves, and their churches in light of the dangers and temptations which every Christian must bear."