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The Problem of Evil

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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Arthur W. Lindsley

Arthur W. Lindsley, is the Vice President of Theological Initiatives at the Institute for Faith, Works, & Economics. He has served at the C.S. Lewis Institute since 1987 both as President until 1998 and currently as Senior Fellows for Apologetics. Formerly, he was director of Educational Ministries at the Ligonier Valley Study Center, and Staff Specialist with the Coalition for Christian Outreach. He is the author of C.S. Lewis's Case for Christ, True Truth, Love: The Ultimate Apologetic, and co-author with R.C. Sproul and John Gerstner of Classical Apologetics, and has written numerous articles on theology, apologetics, C.S. Lewis, and the lives and works of many other authors and teachers. Art earned his M.Div. from Pittsburgh Theological Seminary and a Ph.D. in Religious Studies from the University of Pittsburgh.

 

COPYRIGHT: This publication is published by C.S. Lewis Institute; 8001 Braddock Road, Suite 301; Springfield, VA 22151. Portions of the publication may be reproduced for noncommercial, local church or ministry use without prior permission. Electronic copies of the PDF files may be duplicated and transmitted via e-mail for personal and church use. Articles may not be modified without prior written permission of the Institute. For questions, contact the Institute: 703.914.5602 or email us.

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