Located across the
street from Starbucks
in Downtown Milford, MI.
C.S. Lewis, a frontline witness to evil in the world, was not immune from personal pain. As a boy, he experienced the death of his mother followed by the emotional abandonment of his father. As a young man, he directly encountered the ugliness of war. As a brilliant Oxford don, he suffered rejection from academic colleagues. As an older man who finally discovered young love, he endured the painful loss of his wife. In 1940, at age forty-two, Lewis penned The Problem of Pain accompanied by a humble, written admission. Fully realizing that he might be underestimating the reality of serious pain, he was compelled to intellectually address the issue, for he understood its profound implications toward belief, or disbelief, in God. After all, Lewis reminds us early on in this writing, it was the problem of evil that foundationally motivated his prior atheism.
The Problem of Pain seeks to understand how a loving, good, and powerful God can possibly coexist with the pain and suffering pervasive in the world and in our lives. Indeed, the problem of pain could not exist without the reality of a good and loving and powerful God. Without a transcendent creator God who ultimately defines good and evil, there are no grounds upon which to substantiate the difference between the two, much less the effect of either. Lewis states that “pain would be no problem unless, side by side with our daily experience of this painful world, we had received what we think a good assurance that ultimate reality is righteous and loving.”1 The innate relationship between the existence of God and pain must be rightly understood if we are honestly to confront the difficult issues that lie therein. Without such an understanding, faith is at risk of crumbling.
(summary taken from ‘The C.S. Lewis Institute’)