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I just finished leading a class at my congregation, La Casa de Cristo Lutheran Church, on C. S. Lewis’s book, The Problem of Pain. As you probably know, Lewis was among the most successful, popular Christian writers of the mid-20th century. His children’s series, The Chronicles of Narnia, is among the most popular children’s literature of all time, and several of the books in that series have been turned into movies.
He’s known as a thinking person’s Christian who can credibly do battle with atheists, agnostics and skeptics, in large part because he once was an atheist himself.
In The Problem of Pain, he tackles the most difficult of issues for a Christian to explain and an unbeliever to overcome: How and why does evil exist if God is all-loving and all-powerful? Lewis maintains that asking to be free from pain is asking God to love us less, not more.
It’s a short book and an engaging read, but even so, people unaccustomed to Lewis’s style might have difficulty with it. If you’d like to tackle it, feel free to download the study guides I put together for the class. I don’t like to start a class before participants have a chance to read material together, so for the first week, I took a page from Peter Kreeft’s book, Making Sense Out of Suffering, and looked at 10 easy (but flawed) answers to dealing with the presence of evil in the world.
If you tackle the book, let me know. I’d be interested in your thoughts. The guides are below, and the page numbers in the guides refer back to the 2009 edition of the book published by HarperOne. If you want to order the book from Amazon, click on the image of the book below.
Ten Easy Answers (Week One)