The Problem of Evil: C.S. Lewis Speaks to Life’s Most Difficult Questions

Evil, pain, and suffering—three human experiences which countless authors have attempted to address throughout history. Unlike other topics, books and articles on evil, pain, and suffering produce strong reactions toward those who write about them and try to explain them. C.S. Lewis was well aware of this phenomenon:

“All arguments in justification of suffering provoke bitter resentment against the author. You would like to know how I behave when I am experiencing pain, not writing books about it.”

Nevertheless, it is important to address this issue because some believers and many unbelievers are caused to doubt God’s goodness, power, or even His existence because of particular evils they encounter in their lives. As I have talked to many people about this issue, I have found it important to distinguish between the intellectual problem of evil and the emotional responses to particular evils we face in our experience. Having the intellectual answer helps, but it does not make you immune from the emotional struggle, as we will see in Lewis’s agony over the death of his wife, Joy.

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