Tag: theodicy

The Problem of Pain: C.S. Lewis and human suffering

painOriginally published November 14, 2012 as “The Problem of Pain and C.S. Lewis”

Early in the book “The Problem of Pain,” in an analogy which is the epitome of the brilliance and humor of C.S. Lewis, he compares the relationship of God and man to that of a dog owner and his dog. It is for the dog owner’s joy that he owns the dog. It is not inherently for the dog’s joy. It is also so that the owner has another being that it can love. The master values the dog loving him too, but to mature the dog, there are things which must be done that might not always be pleasant for the canine. Being washed, trained not to steal, and the dreaded process of house training are all part of the process. But in the end, those unpleasant activities are for the good of the dog.

With his rapier wit, Lewis writes, “To the puppy the whole proceeding would seem, if it were a theologian, to cast grave doubts on the ‘goodness’ of man: but the full-grown and full-trained dog, larger, healthier, and longer-loved than the wild dog…would have no such doubts.”

Strength through the toughest struggles

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At the beginning of Romans 5, the Apostle Paul is speaking of the glories of justification by faith.
Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God.
-Romans 5:1-2
But beginning in verse 3, Paul seems to randomly change topics:
Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope.
-Romans 5:3-4