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The Problem of Pain Paperback – April 28, 2015
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The Problem of Pain answers the universal question, "Why would an all-loving, all-knowing God allow people to experience pain and suffering?" Master Christian apologist C.S. Lewis asserts that pain is a problem because our finite, human minds selfishly believe that pain-free lives would prove that God loves us. In truth, by asking for this, we want God to love us less, not more than he does. "Love, in its own nature, demands the perfecting of the beloved; that the mere 'kindness' which tolerates anything except suffering in its object is, in that respect at the opposite pole from Love." In addressing "Divine Omnipotence," "Human Wickedness," "Human Pain," and "Heaven," Lewis succeeds in lifting the reader from his frame of reference by artfully capitulating these topics into a conversational tone, which makes his assertions easy to swallow and even easier to digest. Lewis is straightforward in aim as well as honest about his impediments, saying, "I am not arguing that pain is not painful. Pain hurts. I am only trying to show that the old Christian doctrine that being made perfect through suffering is not incredible. To prove it palatable is beyond my design." The mind is expanded, God is magnified, and the reader is reminded that he is not the center of the universe as Lewis carefully rolls through the dissertation that suffering is God's will in preparing the believer for heaven and for the full weight of glory that awaits him there. While many of us naively wish that God had designed a "less glorious and less arduous destiny" for his children, the fortune lies in Lewis's inclination to set us straight with his charming wit and pious mind. --Jill Heatherly
“It is really a pleasure to be able to praise a book unreservedly, and that is just what I can do with The Problem of Pain .” (Guardian)
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Top Customer Reviews
I have long been a fan of C.S. Lewis and looked forward to his take on the problem. I gave this book 4 stars, since i almost always like C.S. Lewis,but I found the book to contain the writing of Lewis at his most professor- like. It was written before his marriage to Joy Davidman when he had a more personal experience with what pain was. His reaction to that situation is found in a much more satisfying book called A GRIEF OBSERVED.
I don't think Lewis solved the problem in this book, but it is worth reading.
Lewis makes valuable, thoughtful arguments that hold together all the way to the end, building on each argument to the next. If you've ever wondered about the meaning of pain in a world created by God, this is your book.
Although the book may feel somewhat difficult to plow through, particularly at first, this is mostly due to the difference in writing style when Lewis wrote the book and the difficulty of the topic. The book becomes easier to read as you make your way through it. This is not a book to be skimmed - it requires thoughtful, thorough reading.