The book consists of a preface and ten chapters (plus an appendix not written by Lewis, so I will not include a summary nor quotes). The beasts are to be understood only in their relation to man and, through man, to God.” Lewis then tries to correct the notion that many people have that the ‘real’ or ‘natural’ animal is the wild one while the tame animal is unnatural. It is not hard to see why. Second, the moral law. The Problem of Pain by Array “But pain insists upon being attended to. I am a sinner saved in Christ, a husband to my beautiful wife, a dad of three, and a pastor in New Jersey. 3) “We have a strange illusion that mere time cancels sin.”. He calls this “the problem of pain.” Traditionally many have used the term theodicy. Lewis’ beautiful picture of the powerful lion shedding tear after tear. Lewis postulates that maybe this world is not the ‘best of all possible’ universes but the only possible one. Once more, we are embarrassed by the intolerable compliment, by too much love, not too little…To be God—to be like God and to share His goodness in creaturely response—to be miserable—these are the only three alternatives. In the end, we must “believe that we actually are, at present, creatures whose character must be, in some respects, a horror to God…when the saints say that they—even they—are vile, they are recording truth with scientific accuracy.” (62). (XII), In all developed religion we find three strands or elements, and in Christianity one more. if we will not learn to eat the only food that the universe grows — the only food that any possible universe ever can grow — then we must starve eternally. This self-sacrifice, Lewis says, is not something we can escape by remaining earthly or being saved. 7) The Holiness of God is something more and other than moral perfection. Blessed and fortunate creature, your eyes shall behold Him and not another’s. (74-75), They wanted some corner in the universe of which they could say to God, “this is our business, not yours.” but there is no such corner. But what is the good of telling you about my feelings? He notes how biblical ancestors probably meant retribution when they spoke of God’s ‘vengeance’. The tame animal is therefore, in the deepest sense, the only “natural” animal—the only one we see occupying the place it was made to occupy, and it is on the tame animal that we must base all our doctrine of beasts. This is not just fear of danger; it’s similar to the beauty. Suffering explains why this world can give glimpses of joy, but no lasting security. It is already done. But the moment the threat is withdrawn, my whole nature leaps back to the toys: I am even anxious, God forgive me, to banish from my mind the only thing that supported me under the threat because it is now associated with the misery of those few days. 4. Lewis says that when a person feels real guilt, this critique falls away. He says it differs like that of a child’s attempt at drawing a circle for the first time to that of a perfect circle. Lewis admits that he’s only talking about a privileged case and not about wild animals or those ill-treated domestic ones. It may be we who have invented the “sufferers” by the “pathetic fallacy” of reading into the beats a self for which there is no real evidence. … There was a man born among these Jews who claimed to be, or to be the son of, or to be “one with”, the Something which is at once the awful haunter of nature and the giver of the moral law. Christianity is not the conclusion of a philosophical debate on the origins of the universe: it is a catastrophic historical event following on the long spiritual preparation of humanity which I have described…In a sense, it creates, rather than solves, the problem of pain, for 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. There’s not just ‘want,’ but ‘ought.’ Third, the Numinous becomes the governor of the moral ought. Other times might have been more courageous or chaste but God was not content with them, so why should he be content with us. The error we must avoid is that of considering them in themselves. He says though, assuming that their selfhood is not an illusion, animals cannot be considered in and of themselves. He quotes Aquinas and Aristotle who says that suffering and shame, respectively, are not good in and of themselves but as a means to an end. Once again, this may seem to you very “natural”. In the book he seeks to reconcile God’s power and goodness with the presence of evil. (154), If all experienced God in the same way and returned Him an identical worship, the song of the Church triumphant would have no symphony, it would be like an orchestra in which all the instruments played the same note. Lewis summarizes the problem of evil as follows: "If God were good, He would make His creatures perfectly happy, and if He were almighty He would be able to do what he wished. The existence of suffering in a world created by a good and almighty God — "the problem of pain" — is a fundamental theological dilemma, and perhaps the most serious objection to the Christian religion. Lewis says he’s not an expert in carrying out what he’s says, nor is he a theologian. A good God wants to make people happy. A song by Attalus titled The Problem of Pain, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=The_Problem_of_Pain&oldid=997471187, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, Current edition published by HarperCollins. And as I’ve wrestled with this issue in the past, I’ve found beauty in the Jurgen Moltmann’s fearless and raw exploration of the “open wound of life” and also in C.S. Lewis then says this condition was passed down biologically. (105), My own experience is something like this. And when men attempt to be Christians without this preliminary consciousness of sin, the result is almost bound to be a certain resentment against God as to one who is always making impossible demands and always inexplicably angry…When we merely, We imply, and often believe, that habitual vices are exceptional single acts, and make the opposite mistake about our virtues — like the bad tennis player who calls his normal form his “bad days” and mistakes his rare successes for his normal. Lewis addresses each of these, and concludes that, in the end, in hell God leaves prideful man alone, just as man wants. There’s a paradox where Christians know pain can be good but not seek it in itself. I remind myself that all these toys were never intended to possess my heart, that my true good is in another world and my only real treasure is Christ. Lewis, one of the most renowned Christian authors and thinkers, examines a universally applicable question within the human condition: “If God is good and all-powerful, why does he allow his creatures to suffer pain?” With his signature wealth of compassion and insight, C.S. With pain being possible in a world created by a good God, now Lewis shows what three purposes pain might have—three “operations of suffering” (97). Only one email a week, sent Tuesdays at 8 p.m. EST. First, why do animals suffer? If human pain is remedial, what about animal pain? all that you are, sins apart, is destined, if you will let God have His good way, to utter satisfaction…Your place in heaven will seem to be made for you and you alone, because you were made for it—made for it stitch by stitch as a glove is made for a hand. In the natural world creatures prey upon one another 2. 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