The Great Philosopher 'C. S. Lewis Suffering'

Good Essays
The great philosopher C. S. Lewis once wrote: “They say of some temporal suffering, ‘No future bliss can make up for it,’ not knowing that Heaven, once attained, will work backwards and turn even that agony into glory” (Keller 34). How can agony and suffering be turned into glory? Suffering is a term that is closely related to the concepts of evil and pain. The verb, suffer, means to undergo or endure. Suffering is linked with the experience of anguish or misery in which humans are aware of the hardships of their intent or function. Suffering, with its biological and psychological matters, may be the result of moral evil where human sin leads to affliction (injustice, greed, war, rape, exploitation) or of natural evil (droughts, floods, earthquakes, accident, illness). Suffering, as a state of mind, may also relate to circumstances of places, possessions and people rather than evil (Atkinson …show more content…
This term determines God hidden in suffering and humiliation of the cross of Christ. Luther used the phrase Deus crucifixus, which means “a crucified God,” as he speaks of the manner in which God shares in the sufferings of Christ. It was the late twentieth century that it was the “new orthodoxy” to speak of a suffering God. Traditional theology declared that Jesus Christ was indeed God incarnate. Therefore it seems to follow that God suffered in Christ. Christ suffered in his human nature, not divine. Thus God did not experience human suffering and remained unaffected by the aspect of the world (McGrath 221). God came to earth to put himself on the hook of human suffering. God experienced the greatest depths of pain. On the cross he went beyond even the worst human suffering and experienced cosmic rejection and pain that exceeds ours as infinitely as his knowledge and power exceeds ours (Keller 30). The Bible says that Jesus had to pay for our sins so that someday he can end evil and suffering without having to end

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • Good Essays

    In A Grief Observed, by C.S. Lewis, I was profoundly affected by the spiral of emotion that Lewis was afflicted with after the loss of H. Not only is C.S. Lewis angry at god, but over the course of the book he comes to terms with his pain. That god has not forsaken him and is not a cruel being, but instead has knocked down his house of cards showing him who he really is. This eye-opening book really observes grief down to its darkest moment. Something that we rarely get the chance to peak into in our lives. Lewis starts the book with the statement, “Where is God?” in the first chapter; and ends the book with “I am at peace with God”. A transition that truly shows Lewis’ heart for the Lord, even in his time of peril.…

    • 1354 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Powerful Essays

    Human Suffering

    • 1551 Words
    • 7 Pages

    Human suffering is the pain and sadness one feels inside when something bad has happened to her or someone close to her. There are two types of suffering: one is caused by another person, and the other type is caused by human nature (Gillman 187). Suffering caused by another person involves crimes and deceitful actions: A person inflicts pain on another person, either internally or externally, causing them and their family agony. An example of this is when a person murders someone else; the murderer creates the suffering for the victim's family and friends. The murderer took the life of a loved one away, creating an enormous amount of suffering. A group or agency can cause suffering; cutting governmental funding also exemplifies suffering created by a person or group of people. When the government decides to take money out of a certain program, many people lose their jobs and do not get the care they need. Taking from the AIDS clinics, for example, leaves the patients in the clinics helpless. Although the government tries not to look deceitful, they eventually do look devious because so many people are left with no where to go. The selfish works of the government leaves families and friends of the victims of governmental cuts suffer as well. The family suffers knowing the person with AIDS will…

    • 1551 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Powerful Essays
  • Good Essays

    Emmanuel Levinas begins this excerpt by discussing the phenomenology of suffering. He has many definitions for the concept of suffering such as something that is passive or evil or a “senseless pain”; however he refuses to acknowledge at any point reasoning behind this concept. The title of the essay really begins to jump out at the reader during the first few paragraphs of his phenomenology. Under all the metaphorical rhetoric lies a reoccurring theme of this ethical struggle to acknowledge suffering as anything more than a reality without rationality. He goes on to discuss pain in a physical and psychological light. It is a suffering so powerful it has the ability to “absorb the rest of consciousness” but lacks the ability to cross exteriority and thus renders someone else’s pain immeasurable to me. It seems as if Levinas only gives suffering a meaning when the person contemplating the evil is personally experiencing it, making it subjectively real and “making spirituality closer than confidence in any kind of theodicy.”…

    • 574 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Labyrinth of Suffering

    • 898 Words
    • 4 Pages

    The answer to this question lingers in my mind,will I get out of this labryith of suffering? I am not sure at all. I know there is always a smile in darkness, and I can forgive and forget just as Pudge forgives Alaska. Maybe even after death there will still be the labryitnh of suffering. Or maybe after death the suffering ends. The first steps we give in death are probably not a struggle at all. Unlike Alaska I don’t want to find the answer just yet. I rather linger on it and learn or wonder. I will not find a way out “straight and fast.”…

    • 898 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Better Essays

    Suffering: is caused by materialism or becoming attached to things in and of the world we live in excessively.…

    • 855 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Better Essays
  • Good Essays

    Suffering is part of everything we do in our lives and affects us constantly. This is shown in the four types of concealed Dukkha. We all like to buy cheap clothes and other consumer goods, but when we buy from some shops, like Primark for example, we often forget that our clothes are so cheap because they were made in a sweatshop by poor workers for low pay. This is the enjoyment of something that causes others to suffer, and in turn causes us to suffer in our conscience. Another concealed form is the…

    • 1500 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    The Bible says “We must go through many hardships to enter the kingdom of God” also, God reveals that suffering carries with it a noble purpose: It should help us to grow in brotherly love, “Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ (Galatians6:2) I think that when we support each other through suffering we form closer relationships. I believe that suffering is a part of life that needs to be embraced and that for me, I find comfort in knowing God allows suffering to serve a divine purpose. When we return to God it will bring an end to sadness and suffering. I suffer every day with anxiety. It makes me a better person because I know what it’s like to suffer, and because I suffer, I am a more compassionate person to others. I go out of my way to try to lift others in spirit because I know what it feels like to be down. I try to be a wonderful friend because I know how shortcoming in friends can be a letdown, and how having a good friend has kept me safe on bad days. I think sometimes when people don’t suffer they become self-centered and think they are above others. I think it is often when we suffer that we are drawn closer to our families and given a reality check. Suffering helps us to fulfill our potential as children of God (1John…

    • 540 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    The sufferings of individuals are the incidents of unfortunate events that traumatize and change the perspective on reality. In the novel, Briar Rose, Yolen bases the concept of suffering in reference to the Nazi regime (1939-1945). Yolen has created a bleak, inhumane past for certain charecters that are survivors from the mistreatment of the Nazi regime to share their first hand experience and highlight their continuous suffering.…

    • 672 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Powerful Essays

    C.S. Lewis' Essays

    • 29456 Words
    • 118 Pages

    The Voyage of the Dawn Treader The Silver Chair The Horse and His Boy The Magician's Nephew…

    • 29456 Words
    • 118 Pages
    Powerful Essays
  • Good Essays

    Why Good People Suffer

    • 690 Words
    • 3 Pages

    “Why do good people suffer or why do bad things happen to good people?” This question seems to be very common these days. It seems as though good people get the brunt of all suffering, while evil-doers enjoy life. But if we observe closely, we see that everyone undergoes suffering in some form. Keeping this in mind, our question becomes meaningless. Just because a person is good does not mean there would be no suffering in his/her life. But what do we mean by „good‟? In Sanskrit, „sadhu‟ is the word used for a good person. Sadhu comes from the word „saadh‟, meaning „to accomplish‟. If we work for ourselves and achieve great things, there is nothing laudable about it, but if we help others to achieve their goals, then it is an accomplishment. If someone is good to you and you reciprocate, that is common courtesy. But if someone is harming you, and despite that you continue to wish that person well without expecting anything in return, it is real goodness. A sadhu bathing in the river saw a drowning insect. He saved it from drowning and was stung in return. Again, the insect fell back into the river and the sadhu pulled it out of the water and placed it under a shady tree. On seeing this, a person asked the sadhu, “Why did you do that?” He replied, “The insect did not give up its nature, so why should I?” How can we achieve this goodness in our lives? To reach any target, we must first have a goal. Similarly, for achieving goodness, we must have a standard of goodness which is known to us, because only then can we rise up to the required levels. As long as we see differences in the world around us, true goodness will not manifest. This can be achieved only when we become aware of our oneness with others. An example will illustrate this point better. Every organ of my body is part of one whole. If the finger goes into the eye, there is instant forgiveness, because of the complete identification with the finger. Now that we know what is good, let us see what suffering…

    • 690 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Satisfactory Essays

    The short Essay, An Experiment in Criticism, by C.S. Lewis brings to light many new perspectives to how people read and experience literature. Throughout the essay Lewis works to give the message that; how good a book is doesn’t depend on the quality of writing but on the reader. He begins by defining two types of readers- the “literary” and the “non-literary”- which he uses through the rest of his essay to categorize different traits for treating literature.…

    • 78 Words
    • 1 Page
    Satisfactory Essays
  • Good Essays

    The topic of suffering probably is the hardest for me to bear as a Christian, because it is the result of evil in the world, and since God’s allowance of evil is hard to explain, it is an atheist’ best argument against Christian faith. My views on why God allows suffering are based on C.S. Lewis’ book “The Problem of Pain”. Lewis’ thoughts basically show that there is sufficient evidence that God is real and that pain exists because the all-powerful God created creatures that aren’t happy. Since the fall of man, we are never content with what we have and are always in on the pursuit of happiness that even our forefathers recognized. This explains evil in the world; that we feel like we deserve more than we have been given, so we fight for and take what we can get, often wickedly. Our general discontent leads to evil, which leads to…

    • 717 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Keats, John. "Ode on a Grecian Urn." Poetry Foundation. Poetry Foundation, n.d. Web. 28 Mar. 2014. .…

    • 852 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Lewis closes the book with a chapter on Heaven, affirming that “a book on suffering which says nothing of heaven, is leaving out almost the whole of one side of the account. Scripture and tradition habitually put the joys of heaven into the scale against the sufferings of earth, and no solution of the problem of pain which does not do so can be called a Christian one” (p.148). He contends that nowadays, we are very timid about mentioning heaven, afraid of the ridicule about ‘pie in the sky’ and dreaming of a happy world elsewhere, escaping our duty to make this world a happier place. Lewis postulates, “But either there is "pie in the sky" or…

    • 729 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    God on Trial

    • 1438 Words
    • 6 Pages

    Its impossible to reflect on the origins of evil without bringing up the concept of free will. God created man with this idea of choice; the choice to believe and obey, or the choice to disobey. It was this free will that allowed Adam and Eve to fall from their initial glory and introduce evil and suffering into the world. We can justify a large amount of sustained suffering by acknowledging that it actually benefits us and is not incompatible with God's loving nature. We learn lessons both physically and spiritually that allows us to grow and mature according to God. Some suffering is used to spark revival or for a great advancement in his kingdom, cause after all we're here for his glory alone. We have the end to look forward to when God defeats evil and suffering once and for all and we share in his glorified kingdom.…

    • 1438 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Good Essays