- Series: Collected Letters of C.S. Lewis
- Paperback: 208 pages
- Publisher: HarperOne; HarperCollins REV ed. edition (March 2001)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0060653205
- ISBN-13: 978-0060653200
- Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.5 x 8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 10.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 322 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #9,688 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Weight of Glory HarperCollins REV ed. Edition
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"Lewis combines a novelist's insights into motives with a profound religious understanding."--" The New York Times Book Review"
From the Back Cover
Addressing some of the most difficult issues we face in our day-to-day lives, C. S. Lewis's ardent and timeless words provide an unparalleled path to greater spiritual understanding. Considered by many to be his most moving address, "The Weight of Glory" extols a compassionate vision of Christianity and includes lucid and compelling discussions on forgiveness and faith.
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Top customer reviews
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I found the introduction of the book by Walter Hooper to be very enlightening and interesting. It offered me a small glimpse into the personality and practices of C. S. Lewis himself. It brought the incredible C. S. Lewis down to the human level, to my level, and helped me understand him and why he wrote.
Lewis delivered these speeches and sermons during World War II, in hopes of bringing insight to select difficult issues of Christian apologetics. The topics of these addresses include, forgiveness, education, friendship, belonging, and living in light of the reality of eternity. In a time of great doubt, Lewis offers honest advice and guidance, using methodical reasoning and wisdom to build up believers in faith, hope, and love. He is able to make clear what is often lofty and confusing, and to express with clarity its relevance and practical importance.
As sermons, these texts are addressed directly to the audience, which I appreciated a lot. The principle characters are the audience members themselves, mostly on an individual level as Lewis takes them on a journey to examine their innermost thoughts and soul, but also on a larger scale as a society and humanity as a whole. The main goal of these sermons/writings is to make the reader question their beliefs and actions, which works a lot better with this way of communication.
He does not attempt in these sermons to convince us that Christianity is true; he takes it as a given and uses it as the basis for his arguments. Mostly, he digs deeper into why the belief is worth it. His main focus is to get us to turn our gaze from the temporal and earthly to the eternal, comparing our current life and circumstances to something higher and holy.
C. S. Lewis does a masterful job with his argument in each essay. He addresses the objections people could raise. He understands the emotional impact on people and battles that they were going through. I appreciated how he started off most essays by defining his terms carefully. He is using logic to appeal to the audience and this is very effective as it considers all options. He systematically takes apart opposing options one by one, to be left with his own position as the best option.
The title essay is remarkably memorable, and is clearly the product of extended thought and reflection, contributing greatly to its excellence. "The Weight of Glory" is an address on the nature of glory, beginning by reminding the reader that they are too often distracted by simple distractions of life and fail to see that something greater remains just beyond our view. To desire something greater, to desire glory, is not a sin. Lewis says that only by the work of Christ, the believer is made an object of glory and is accepted by God. The end result is that "the door on which we have been knocking all our lives will open at last". Lewis concludes with emphasizing the value we are to place on each other. He says, "It is a serious thing to live in a society of possible gods and goddesses, to remember that the dullest most uninteresting person you can talk to may one day be a creature which, if you saw it now, you would be strongly tempted to worship, or else a horror and corruption such as you now meet, if at all, only in a nightmare. All day long we are, in some degree, helping each other to one or the other of these destinations." We truly have never met a mortal person. We all shall live forever. This should have an impact on how we think about all people.
Another sermon is on the relationship between Christian Theology and poetry. Lewis surprisingly denies that Christianity resembles poetry, as ultimately the narrative of Christianity is something more real and historical. In this piece, Lewis' language and his argument are pure poetry; I thought it was persuasive and very well written. The sixth sermon is titled "The Inner Ring." Lewis describes here the cliquish nature of human relationships. The rings of acceptance and exclusion are a natural part of life but are dangerous. Lewis wants the reader to consider carefully the desire to belong, because he believes "unless you take measures to prevent it, this desire is going to be one of the chief motives of your life."
Some of the other essays are quite complex, and readers could easily get lost in the metaphysical arguments in "Transposition," but for the most part each piece is, if not straightforward, presented in a most logical and down-to-earth way.
While this book is not quite a full cohesive text, it is a collection of bite-sized pieces of wisdom on issues that are too easily overlooked, making it the perfect book to read bit by bit with time in between to reflect on the wisdom Lewis has packed into the pages.
The titles of the sermons in this book are:
-The Weight of Glory
-Learning in War-Time
-Why I Am Not a Pacifist
-Is Theology Poetry?
-The Inner Ring
-A Slip of the Tongue