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169 of 171 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stopped Me in My Tracks
After reading this essay, I was convicted beyond imagination as to my responsibility as a school teacher. As Lewis says, there are no ordinary people, everyone I come in contact with is a eternal being who is on the path to either heaven or hell. Everything I do in the classroom is pointing my students either towards God or away from Him. And that, as Lewis states, is...
Published on January 1, 1999

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380 of 395 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A good collection but not the best
Lewis's shorter works were generally originally composed as speeches or as articles for periodicals. Various sets of them were collected and published in book form both during his life and after his death. Trying to determine what works are in what collections is difficult - most works appear in more than one collection, some works appear under more than one title, and...
Published on September 12, 2001 by Rachel Simmons


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169 of 171 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stopped Me in My Tracks, January 1, 1999
By A Customer
After reading this essay, I was convicted beyond imagination as to my responsibility as a school teacher. As Lewis says, there are no ordinary people, everyone I come in contact with is a eternal being who is on the path to either heaven or hell. Everything I do in the classroom is pointing my students either towards God or away from Him. And that, as Lewis states, is the Weight of Glory.
Lewis describes glory as not in being noticed by others and seeking their approval, but being noticed by God. To hear that blessed phrase "Well done my good and faithful servant". Not just in seeing God's beauty, but passing into it and being a part of it. The weight of it is my responsibility to bear witness of that glory to others and help to bring them into it. Their salvation is my weight, my burden to bear. Isn't that the reason why believers are on this earth? To honor God, and to serve Him?
Lewis is the master of imagery. He brings his readers to an either/or proposition. Either I am going to take responsibility for my neighbors salvation, or I am not. And once he gets you to that point, there is really no decision to make. Your neighbor's soul is your responsibility.
This essay, more than anything I have read to date, has brought me to the realization as to what my responsibility as a Believer is. I need to read this at least once a month to remind me of how I should be living my life before others. No Christian should go without experiencing this challenge to holiness.
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380 of 395 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A good collection but not the best, September 12, 2001
By 
Rachel Simmons (Los Altos, CA USA) - See all my reviews
Lewis's shorter works were generally originally composed as speeches or as articles for periodicals. Various sets of them were collected and published in book form both during his life and after his death. Trying to determine what works are in what collections is difficult - most works appear in more than one collection, some works appear under more than one title, and some collections appear under more than one title.
To aid readers, in this review I've listed the works in this collection, with notes indicating other collections they have appeared in.
Table of Contents:
"The Weight of Glory" (1), (2), (3), (4)
"Learning in War-Time" (1), (4), (5)
"Why I am Not a Pacifist" (4), (6), (7)
"Transposition" (1), (2), (3), (4)
"Is Theology Poetry?" (2), (3), (4)
"The Inner Ring" (1), (2), (3), (4)
"Membership" (1), (4), (5)
"On Forgiveness" (4), (5)
"A Slip of the Tongue" (2), (3), (4)
Notes:
(1) The original, 1949 version of this work included only these works. The other works were added in the 1980 edition. Also, the 1949 version was published in the U. K. under the title "Transposition and Other Addresses".
(2) also published in "They Asked for a Paper"
(3) also published in "Screwtape Proposes a Toast and Other Pieces"
(4) also published in "Essay Collection and Other Short Pieces"
(5) also published in "Fern-Seed and Elephants and Other Essays"
(6) also published in "Timeless at Heart: Essays on Theology"
(7) also published in "Compelling Reason"
Recommendations:
If you are interested in Lewis's shorter works, my best advice is to get "Essay Collection and Other Short Pieces", which, as of the time of this writing, is available from Amazon UK but not Amazon US. That collection consists of about 130 short works by Lewis. The works in that collection are mostly, but not exclusively, Christian.
If your interest in Lewis's shorter works is restricted to those on Christianity, and your budget or enthusiasm does not run to "Essay Collection and Other Short Pieces", then my second-best advice is to get any or all of the following (they don't overlap significantly, and between them they include most of Lewis's shorter Christian writings):
"God in the Dock - Essays on Theology and Ethics"*
"The World's Last Night and Other Essays"
"Christian Reflections"
"The Weight of Glory and Other Addresses"
* Be careful - there is a UK Fontana paperback lurking about called "God in the Dock - Essays on Theology" that is substantially shorter than the "God in the Dock - Essays on Theology and Ethics" collection. A full version of "God in the Dock - Essays on Theology and Ethics" was published in the UK under the title "Undeceptions - Essays on Theology and Ethics".
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142 of 146 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Enlightening addresses, February 1, 2000
By 
Lewis is at his best in this collection. As the preface mentions, the sermon "the Weight of Glory," deserves to be placed on the level of the Church Fathers' writings because of its elegance and insightfulness. In this sermon Lewis looks at the afterlife, which we get glimpses of while on earth. He makes some excellent observations, and I was left thinking, "Of course!" and "Why didn't I see that before?" One of the unqiue observations Lewis makes is that all humans are truly "immortals." Cultures and the earth are mortal, but your neighbor, children, etc, are all immortal, and we need to treat them as such. The other sermons are very good (though "The Weight of Glory" has to be the best). For instance "Is Theology Poetry?" examines a topic many of us probably have never thought of examining, i.e. is our theology poetry? The address "On forgiveness" separates forgiveness (which is totally undeserving) from excusing (which is where we did something wrong, but have some valid excuse) and goes from there. Overall the points Lewis makes are enlightening and useful to our everyday lives. These are some of the best sermons I have ever heard or read.
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54 of 55 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lewis' Most Underrated Work, January 16, 2002
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This review is from: The Weight of Glory (Paperback)
The Weight of Glory is a book that is comprised of a series of unrelated essays. I was not convinced it was very important among his writings, so I put off reading it. When I finally got around to reading it, I was ineffably impressed. It is my opinion that this book has been underrated by many casual readers.
The Weight of Glory has penetrating essays on pacifism, transposition, forgiveness and other paramount issues for Christians. His argument "Why I am not a pacifist" is profoundly moving (and reminiscent of the Screwtape Letters). Likewise, one of the latter essays entitled, "On Forgiveness" takes a mundane Christian experience and (for me, at least) revitalized my conception of such a profound practice that I rely on everyday.
Even though I read this after encountering most of Lewis' other books, this could easily be understood without having read any of Lewis' previous works. These essays will provide encouragement, joy, and clarity to any Christian.
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24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Penetrating insights, March 17, 2005
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This review is from: The Weight of Glory (Paperback)
This is an exceedingly well composed and thought provoking collection of essays by one of the truly great Christian apologists of the modern age.

"The Weight of Glory" considers "...our longing to be reunited with something in the universe from which we now feel cut off...", and how, through love, we must help one another reach the end for which we were made.

"Learning in War-Time" explains why the pursuit of learning in the midst of a temporal crisis is not an evasion, but a moral necessity. Lewis turns conventional thinking on its head.

"Why I Am Not a Pacifist" is a logical critique that demolishes the pacifist position.

"Transposition" is a deep theological reflection on how we are to understand and interpret miracles, and how we are naturally inclined to do it incorrectly.

"Is Theology Poetry?" discusses the relationship between the two, with Lewis making a surprising case for Christian theology being, at one level, very poor poetry. At the core of his argument is the fact that we are not drawn to religion by virtue of its poetic appeal--there are other, deeper reasons for faith.

"The Inner Ring" counsels university students to do what is right, not what is popular.

"Membership" explains the meaning of the term in the Christian sense of one body with many parts, as opposed to the more modern idea of membership as all people being equal. While Lewis commends the notion of equality in its proper place, he says that "[Christianity] is the hierachical world, still alive and (very properly) hidden behind a facade of equal citizenship..." A tremendous meditation on the complex interplay between religion and social institutions, on how we can remain truly human in a society that of necessity tends to suppress our humanity.

"On Forgiveness" highlights the easily glossed over distinction between forgiving sins and excusing them. With a personal frankness typical of all these essays, Lewis makes his point about how we tend to make excuses rather than accept responsibility by revealing his own shortcomings.

"A Slip of the Tongue" is about how we tend to compartmentalize our faith, how we try to keep our beliefs from intruding on the "real world" where we live except when we're in church.

Lewis tackles some very difficult problems, but if he does not completely solve them, he certainly puts them in a perspective we may not have considered.
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34 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars one of the most important books for a Christian to read, March 17, 2003
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This review is from: The Weight of Glory (Paperback)
This book is a collection of lectures given Clive Staples Lewis. Lewis is one of the premier Christian thinkers of the twentieth century, and his words and ideas have given comfort and inspiration to many Christians throughout the years. C. S. Lewis is thoughtful, intelligent writer. He is a scholar and an intellectual. He is one of the most important Christian writers of the twentieth century.
There are several essays that have clear relevance today, both in our personal Christian life as well as in how we relate to the world. "The Weight of Glory" focuses on what it means to be children of God and that while cultures and nations are all mortal things (they will come to an end), it is humans that are truly immortal in that we will live with God long after this world is gone. Lewis speaks about how we should be like children, realizing how special everyone truly is, and that they too are immortals. Lewis explains it better. "The Weight of Glory" has been described as the best thing Lewis has ever written. While I haven't read everything Lewis has written yet, there is no question that this is one of his most important essays.
Other essays in the collection include "Why I Am Not a Pacifist" (giving a Christian viewpoint on the subject that I had not encountered before), "The Inner Ring" (dealing with cliques in general and in church), "Membership", and "On Forgiveness".
This is an important book to read as a Christian, and perhaps an interesting one to read if one is not a Christian.
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars How could you NOT give it 5 stars?, January 7, 2006
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This review is from: The Weight of Glory (Paperback)
C.S. Lewis has a tremendous capability to analyze facts of spiritual matters. After reading The Weight of Glory I was able to understand more fully what glory means; why I'm not a pacifist either; and why I shouldn't care much about being inside the inner rings of my life.

First of all, I learned that glory means good report with God. In other words, it means to be recognized by our creator. I appreciated Mr. Lewis' words, "The sense that in this universe we are treated as strangers, the longing to be acknowledge, to meet with some response... is part of our inconsolable secret." I have often told my family and friends that even at times when everything is going well in my life, when things seem to be perfect to me, I still feel this preexistence nostalgia that makes me realize that I cannot be whole until I rejoin with my creator. Thus, Lewis's interpretation of glory helped me with validating and healing of that old ache.

I completely agree with Lewis's position of not being a pacifist. He states, "The doctrine that war is always a greater evil seems to imply a materialist ethic, a belief that death and pain are the greatest evils. But I don't think they are. I think the suppression of a higher religion by a lower, or even a higher secular culture by a lower, a much greater evil." This, I think, is very insightful. It makes me think of a country being under tyranny or any other dangers; how would I say that I would not fight evil? How can I be indifferent and not raise my hands against it? I believe in goodness, in freedom. Therefore, I would do anything to preserve these freedoms, even if it means a war.

Finally, The Inner Ring chapter was an eye-opener in helping me decide with some burdensome areas of my life. I was living my own example of "trying to get in the inner ring" few weeks before I read the book. A group of friends started a book club, and I was invited to be a part of it. After the first meeting, when we committed to read several books, I realized that my decision of joining the club was not a good one considering the amount of books I have to read already. I thought of withdrawing from the club, but I didn't want to "miss the fun." It wasn't until I read the Inner Ring chapter that I realized that I wasn't having any fun at all! I particularly related to the following words, "It is a terrible bore, of course, when old Fatty Smithson draws you aside and whispers, `Look here, we've got to get you in on this examination somehow' or `Charles and I saw at once that you've got to be on this committee.' A terrible bore... ah, but how much more terrible if you were left out!" After many nights of few hours of sleep, trying to catch up with my reading, I quit the club. The relief I felt after taking such decision helped me decide that I don't want to do something that will bring me more unnecessary stress in my life just for the sake of being "In" the Inner Ring.

It was very assertive for me to read The Weight of Glory at this point of my life. Being able to understand what glory means is very helpful in my everyday spiritual life. Incidentally, the day I started reading the Why I'm Not a Pacifist chapter was the day that the United States declared war against terrorism. And definitely, the Inner Ring chapter helped me make the decision of getting rid of unnecessary stress in my life.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Two of the essays in this book are literally awesome., May 24, 2001
"Transposition" and "The Weight of Glory" are absolutely classic essays detailing a side of Christianity too rarely seen these days--the sheer joy one should get from thinking about our eternal home with God, and the longing--both in mind and heart--to share this joy with others. Mr. Lewis once again "hit the nail on the head," as it were, with this masterpiece. Great insight into some confusing moments in his fiction, too!
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Don't overlook Lewis' essay on "The Inner Ring.", December 4, 1998
"The Weight of Glory", "Transposition", and other essays in this volume have been warmly received in the years since they were first preached. "The Inner Ring," by contrast, is less often cited. This is a pity, since "of all passions the passion for the Inner Ring is most skillful in making a man who is not yet a very bad man do very bad things."
It is a frightening picture of ambition twisted and run amok, destroying the human person whom it infests. "Aristotle placed [friendship] among the virtues. It causes perhaps half of all the happiness in the world, and no Inner Ringer can ever have it."
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The address, "The Inner Ring" provides insights to live by, October 22, 1999
By 
Shirley Clifford (Melbourne, Australia) - See all my reviews
The keynote essay from which the book takes its title, "The Weight of Glory" is a mighty work, but reflecting and acting on one of the 'lesser' essays, "The Inner Ring" has the potential to empower, and change utterly the way you live and relate. Once grasped, the dynamics explored in this wise and wonderful talk seem blindingly obvious, and the insights you develop offer the confidence to be more fully yourself and make you just about impervious to manipulation or coercion.
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The Weight of Glory
The Weight of Glory by C. S. Lewis (Paperback - Mar. 2001)
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