Monday, April 4, 2011

How I Read It: The Problem of Pain

A few thoughts after finishing The Problem of Pain by CS Lewis:

Quotable:  I already posted a long, inspire-me quote on the love of God from this book.  But here's another freebie for you:  "The dangers of apparent self sufficiency explain why Our Lord regards the vices of the feckless and dissipated so much more leniently than the vices that lead to worldly success.  Prostitutes are in no danger of finding their present life so satisfactory that they cannot turn to God: the proud, the avaricious, the self-righteous, are in that danger."

Whoa Nelly!: Chapter Five really took me by surprise.  In his explanation of the Fall of Man, Lewis basically shows he fully buys theistic-evolution, (meaning God used evolution to create mankind).  I won't digress into a full discussion on this topic here, but suffice it to say I guess you'll never agree 100% with everybody.  Not even C.S. Lewis.

LOL: During a random side-track about animal immortality, Lewis says: "I am not greatly moved by jocular inquiries such as 'Where will you put all the mosquitoes?' - a question to be answered on its own level by pointing out that, if the worst came to the worst, a heaven for mosquitoes and a hell for men could very conveniently be combined."

Just What I Needed: Overall, this book was just what I needed to hear.  I've watched multiple friends go through hardships over the past months and this discussion on God's use of pain was excellent.  If you're struggling to see God's goodness through trying times, I highly recommend this book to you.

The Questions I Will Be Asking: I also read this book along with a friend who doesn't believe in God.  I will be asking him the following questions:  (They sorted of 'bubbled out' of my mind as I read the book.)
  • How did we nearly all of humanity get a belief in the supernatural?
  • What would a good God look like to you?  How would our world be different?
  • Do you see humanity as good, bad, or neutral?
  • How would you explain the 'problem of pain?'
  • What differences do you see between animals and humans?
2011 Personal Impact Ranking:
  1. The Problem of Pain by CS Lewis
  2. Fight Clubs by Jonathan Dodson
  3. Switch by Chip and Dan Heath
  4. Crazy Love by Francis Chan

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