The Problem of Pain // C.S. Lewis.


In this, one of C.S. Lewis’ earliest works after his conversion, Lewis tries his hand on the troublesome problem of pain. Taking a much more classical Christian philosophical approach, Lewis begins with Divine omnipotence and goodness–the two most challenged (and oft pitted against each other) divine attributes when dealing with the problem of pain/evil. He continues onto sin and the evils that come forth from it (oddly, Lewis is silent on natural disasters). When discussing human pain, Lewis cannot help but mention how scripture spins pain as real moments ripped with opportunity.

My best comments and critiques actually follows the older Lewis in A Grief Observed. The problem with The Problem of Pain is its lack of catharsis and limited use. The Problem of Pain might be beneficial for those wrestling with the question of pain but not with the reality of pain, to that I could not recommend A Grief Observed more.

Last note: in the preface and sprinkled throughout the book Lewis is very clear that he is an amateur when it comes to philosophy or theology (though an expert in all things English literary). I highlight this not only to show his modesty but also to confirm to serious readers that Lewis is a door into the discussion, not the house itself filled with wonders of various sorts.


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