Through the Lens with C.S. Lewis The Problem of Pain 2 19 September 2012
“Pain insists upon being attended to. God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our consciences, but shouts in our pains. It is his megaphone to rouse a deaf world.” (406)Journal Prompt14 September 2012
To obey is the proper office of a rational soul. Montaigne II, XII Man is now a horror to God and to himself and a creature ill-adapted to the universe not because God made him so, but because he has made himself so by the abuse of his free will. (397) How did this happen? CAN God prevent evil? Does He? Should He? What would have happened if God had prevented the first sin? (398)
“We now know…that so far from having fallen out of a primeval state of virtueand happiness, men have slowly risen from brutality and savagery.” (398) How does this section of the chapter (pp 398-399) compare to what Lewis wrote about on Malacandra?
p.399Only one thing is universal to all mankind.Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall. Proverbs 16:18
Since I am I, I must make an act of self-surrender, however small or however easy, in living to God rather than to myself….It (the human mind)had turned from God and become its own idol…. (401-402)The Essence of Pride
The world is a dance in which good, descending from God, is disturbed by evil arising from the creatures, and the resulting conflict is resolved by God‟s own assumption of the suffering nature which evil produces. (403)The thesis of this chapter is simply that man, as aspecies, spoiled himself, and that good, to us in our presentstate, must therefore mean primarily remedial or correctivegood. (404)
Human PainSuffering, Anguish, Tribulation, Adversity
The human spirit will not even begin to try to surrender self- will as long as all seems to be well with it. (406)How do we recover self-surrender inour current culture?
“We regard God as an airman regards his parachute; it‟s there for emergencies but he hopes he‟ll never have to use it.” (408)How do we turn our thoughts towardGod when things are going well?
Remember the “intolerable compliment”?p. 385 if you need to look it up
He will have us even This is love: not though we have that we love God, shown that we but that He loved prefer everything us and sent His else to Him, and Son as an atoning come to Him sacrifice for our because there‟s sins. „nothing better‟ now 1 John 4:10 to be had. (408)The Intolerable Compliment
…whatever God knew, 2 Consider it pure joy, Abraham at any rate my brothers and did not know that his sisters, whenever you obedience could face trials of many endure such a kinds, 3 because you command until the know that the testing event taught him: of your faith produces and the obedience perseverance. 4 Let which he did not perseverance finish know that he would its work so that you choose, he cannot may be mature and said to have chosen. complete, not lacking (410) anything. James 1:2-4Testing, Trials, and Obedience
Everyone dies. Only some find hope. If I was dead, I wouldn‟t know I was dead. Death is no more than passing from one room That‟s the only thing I have against death. into another. But theres a difference for me, I want to enjoy my death. you know. Because in that other room I shall SAMUEL BECKETT, Eleutheria be able to see. HELEN KELLER Im not afraid of death; I just dont want to His soul sat up. It met me. Those kinds of be there when it happens. souls always do - the best ones. The ones who WOODY ALLEN rise up and say "I know who you are and I am ready. Not that I want to go, of course, but I will come." Those souls are always light Im the one thats got to die when its time because more of them have been put out. for me to die, so let me live my life the way More of them have already found their way to I want to. other places JIMI HENDRIX MARCUS ZUSAK, The Book Thief It‟s better to burn out than fade away. KURT COBAIN Can you not see death as the friend and deliverer? It means stripping off that body After all, whats a life, anyway? Were born, which is tormenting you. What are you afraid we live a little while, we die. of? Has this world been so kind to you that you should leave it with regret? E.B. WHITE C.S. LEWIS Charlotte’s Web A Grief Observed
“Because God is never cruel,there is a reason for allthings. We must know thepain of loss; because if wenever knew it, we would haveno compassion for others,and we would becomemonsters of self-regard,creatures of unalloyed self-interest. The terrible pain ofloss teaches humility to ourprideful kind, has the powerto soften uncaring hearts, tomake a better person of agood one.” Dean Koontz The Darkest Evening of the Year
Pain hurts. That is whatthe word means. I amonly trying to show thatthe old Christian doctrineof being made „perfectthrough suffering‟ is notincredible. To prove itpalatable is beyond mydesign….tribulationscannot cease until Godeither sees us remade orsees that our remaking isnow hopeless. (412)
Read chapters 8-10 plus Appendix (416-433) Write a short essay detailing how Lewis‟s perspective challenges or confirms your conceptions of heaven and hell. Create an image that captures your idea of heaven or hell Prepare a 4-6 slide show presentation that includes your artwork AND the substance of your essay. homework