Sunday, September 14, 2014

Books read in 2014: No. 42 -- The Problem of Pain

by C.S. Lewis

Started: Sept. 11
Finished: Sept. 14

Notes: Continuing my readings on grief and Christian apologetics, this book is a natural, combining both to some extent. Lewis famously (at least within certain literary and Christian circles) wrote two books on this subject matter, the first one being this one, The Problem of Pain, in which he discusses why God would allowing suffering in the universe. The second book, titled A Grief Observed, Lewis wrote after the passing of his wife (which I can relate to), and personalizes his look into suffering. I'm starting here with the first of these books, but I'll get to the second soon enough.

Mini review: There is much here to reflect upon, and not all of it is easy material. I tend to think of Lewis as one of the better theological and philosophical writers when it comes to explaining his points, but even here there were a few places where my eyes glazed over and he kind of lost me; not that I had lost interest, but that his explanations were sometimes a little overly complicated for my preference. But that was not often the case. Most of the time Lewis is fairly straight forward, and in some ways and on some topics he is more succinct here than he is elsewhere, such as in Mere Christianity. The chapters here are broken up into reflections upon human pain, Hell, animal pain and notions of Heaven. I won't go into detail as I feel such material is worthy of the reader experiencing firsthand, but I will say Lewis does not shy away from a number of tough and touchy topics. For the most part I can go along with his thinking, but I found myself shying away from a few of his notions, specifically in his writings about animals and pain (not that I necessarily disagree with his viewpoints, or not all of them, but some I found overly speculative ... and to be honest, he might agree with me about that). For those who have an interest in religion and philosophy, and especially for those who call themselves Christian or those who wish to study Christianity, I can recommend this one.


Charles Gramlich said...

Never read any of his more philosophical works. Sounds pretty interesting though.

Ty Johnston said...

It's been a long time since I've read any of his fiction, but from what I remember, I think I prefer his non-fiction works. However, I might have to check out some Narnia books again.