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By David on 04-14-07
An Extraordinary Little Book
This book is not for people who fear a questioning of their faith. Nor is it for those who hate intellectualizing religion.
No Bible thumping, no cute or warm stories, no inane pycho-babble. It is a dispassionate and logical tour de force showing first why the notion of God arises in humans and then why morality based on a loving God is possible in a world that seems at times totally cold and empty. His discussion of the concept of omnipotence is probably the best I've ever heard. Very persuasive.
Lewis was a celebrated professor of English at Oxford. He became an atheist at the tender age of 13, but later converted to Christianity (with the help of his colleague Tolkein) at the age of 31. He is perhaps the most famous modern Christian intellectual.
The narration of this audiobook is unbelievably good. The narrator Robert Whitfield is not often given praise in the reviews. He is a true professional and his readings only add to the quality of the experience. He has the same type of perfect British cadence and disinterested tone that James Mason had in the movies. What a voice!
40 of 40 people found this review helpful
By Allan on 08-12-05
The meaning of our existence
I think this book has a very unfortunate title. Two things people are most likely to shun are problems and pain; therefore this very precious book is perhaps overlooked by many. It is not a book about pain but an explanation of first, why pain in the world, is a problem at all. If our existence were not attributed to a loving creator, then no explanation for why there is pain would be necessary. Second, if God does truly love us, then why is there so much suffering? Does He lack the ability or the will to make things better for us, His creatures? Of course not, so why does He allow us to go on like this?
Lewis takes a very interesting approach to show that the world is the way it is because it is the only possible way God could be who He is and love us the way He does and most important of all - reveal Him self to us. This book is a journey into understanding the God who created us, loves us, and gave his Son to save us to the uttermost.
The narration is very good also.
62 of 69 people found this review helpful
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Amazon Customer on 07-05-07
Not such a classic
I found this book confusing.
C S Lewis wrote that it was a book for 'ley people', i.e. normal folk and not theological academics. I can only assume that normal folk were a lot smarter 50 years ago then I am now!
This is one of Lewis's earlier books on Christianity and it shows. To mind my he writes here for the Oxford undergraduates and fellow Dons he enjoyed debating with, even if that was not what he set out to do. The problem is that he doesn't take a very straight forward approach to the main question ('How can a good God allow bad things to happen to people?'), but asks lots of smaller questions that certainly never occured to me and didn't shed a lot of light on the main problem. E.g. the first chapter is a brilliant piece on the historical acceptance of the pressence of God, but it doesn't say much about pain. There's fascinating stuff abotu dinosaurs and all sorts of things later on, but it won't give you any comfort.
The book is brimming with ideas and gives an interesting back ground to his fantastic novel Out of a Silent Planet, which works some of them into a story.
I would advise anybody who wants some solid answers on the problem of pain or anyone starting to read Lewis to stay away from this book. The issues are much better (and more clearly) examined in the undisputed Lewis classic Mere Christianity and the far more personal A Grief Observed, both great books that I highly recommend.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
By I. Ohr on 02-25-15
Brilliant, if very packed with concepts and ideas.
Near perfect answer to the questions like: Why does a good God allow evil,pain and suffering.