Given that C. S. Lewis wrote one of the most influential theodicies of the twentieth century, The Problem of Pain, you might have thought he would’ve been uniquely prepared for the shock and grief of losing his beloved wife Joy to cancer.
But you’d be wrong. Whatever the value of theodicies may be in the intellectual arena they are woefully limited when it comes to addressing those who are in the trenches of suffering. So it should be little surprise that the mind-numbing, heart-breaking experience of losing his beloved prompted Lewis to write a very different book. While The Problem of Pain was bold, theoretical, and abstract, A Grief Observed is intimate, faltering, and written in the trenches of deep pain and loss. And each offers its own response to evil, appropriate to its particular context.
If theologians often spend their time working in the bold, theoretical, and abstract world of The Problem of Pain, chaplains work in the realm of A Grief Observed, a place of personal grief, suffering and loss. In this episode of The Tentative Apologist Podcast we move out of the theologian’s seminar room and onto the frontlines to discuss evil, suffering and ministry in the real world with three chaplains, Fred George, David Haitel, and Lynn Beddoes, as each shares their insights on evil, suffering, and the role of the wounded healer in a broken world.