Chapter 4 - Wrestling with Evil & Suffering
Chapter 4 - Wrestling with Evil & Suffering E-mail

Lewis Agonistes:
How C. S. Lewis Can Train Us
To Wrestle with the Modern and Postmodern World


1.  Markos makes the observation at the top of page 91 that "our modern Western world, which has seen a decrease in human suffering unparalleled in human history, seems less able to deal with pain and more quick either to blame God ... or to deny his existence altogether."  Assuming this is true, do you have any theories why this might be the case?

2.  Describe the radical change in how humans viewed themselves beginning in the 18th century.  How did this eventually open the door to totalitarianism and genocide?

3.  What two misunderstandings about our nature and relationship to God are at the root of our inability to deal with the problem of pain?

4.  Lewis rejects determinism (and hyper-Calvinism) because it makes a sham of free will.  What are some implications of free will not being truly free?

5.  Why is a fixed, neutral playing field essential to God's free will experiment?

6.  The Bible employs the metaphor of God as a father (as opposed to a grandfather or aunt/uncle).  What does this suggest about God's interest in us?  Consider Hebrews 12:5-11.

7.  For Adam and Eve it was the forbidden fruit, for the Lady in Perelandra it was sleeping on the fixed land.  What is really at the heart of these seeming arbitrary commands? 

8.  Perhaps one of the most frequently quoted C. S. Lewis passages is:

God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pains: it is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world. 
(from The Problem of Pain)

     How does pain serve as God's megaphone?  Do you agree/disagree?

9.  What new insights about C. S. Lewis do you glean from the excerpts on pages 107-09 taken from A Grief Observed

© 2009 by Allyson Wieland