The Weight of Glory
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The Weight of Glory

4.38 of 5 stars 4.38  ·  rating details  ·  6,878 ratings  ·  354 reviews
The Weight of Glory features nine memorable addresses C. S. Lewis delivered during World War II. Considered by many to be his most moving address, the title essay, "The Weight of Glory," extols a compassionate vision of Christianity and includes lucid and compelling discussions on forgiveness and faith. "On Forgiveness," "The Inner Ring," and the other much-quoted pieces d...more
ebook, 208 pages
Published June 16th 2009 by HarperCollins e-books (first published 1949)
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Jonathan

"To be a Christian means to forgive the inexcusable, because God has forgiven the inexcusable in you."

C.S. Lewis' popularity has died in more recent history. Academics accuse him of being too simplistic in his expression (a few that I have read even go so far as to say that he adds nothing to Christian theology), other readers find his style too wordy, preachy or patronising to fully enjoy. I myself, however, love C.S. Lewis' work much like I love G.K. Chesterton and J.R.R Tolkien. He is enthus...more
Sally Linford
One of Lewis's most brilliant, the title essay in this collection will blow you away with its rationale for pre-earth life, our longing to be recognized by God, and the remarkable practicality of the ending: it has the biggest 'so what?' I've ever read, and all the groundwork he lays throughout the essay makes the crescendo and climax, solid and unarguable.

"It may be possible for each to think too much of his own potential glory hereafter; it is hardly possible for him to think too often or too...more
Nick
Any devotee of Lewis must immediately secure a copy of this collection and read it before the end of the week or death, whichever comes first. Ten bucks at the closest bookstore will secure you much delight. It is Lewis at his finest, writing (originally, speaking) as a believer, to believers, to build them up in faith, hope, and love. He is at pains to make clear what to many is obscure or lofty, and to express its relevance and practical importance. Their homiletical character is quite clear....more
Ron
"The Weight of Glory" and "Transposition" are worth the price of the book, though the other essays--mostly public addresses from the forties--merit pondering. All bring fresh insight to difficult issues of Christian apologetics, even though most were written while bombs of the Blitz still fell about the English audience.

For the Christian reader, this collection may provide more food for thought than even Lewis's famous Mere Christianity. I re-read this book periodically and am usually rewarded w...more
Nick
A great collection of essays and papers delivered to students during the 1940's. Lewis never ceases to inspire me with his prose. He's simply a great writer. But that's not all he is. He is a great thinker and teacher too. For instance, in the beginning of his piece called "Why I'm not a pacifist" he takes the time to educate his readers/listeners on the art of logical thinking. This is one example of how he teaches beyond the bounds of his topic. This book was a joy to read. That being said, I...more
Shaina
If I could break down the chapters and rate them individually as they have nothing to do with each other or one idea:

Introduction by Walter Hooper: Horrible and waste of time, like most introductions to C.S. Lewis' books.

Preface: Indifferent, slightly important to breakdown of this collection

The Weight of Glory: 5 stars
Learning in War-Time: 2 stars
Why I Am Not a Pacifist: 3 stars
Transposition: 5 stars
Is Theology Poetry?: 4 stars
The Inner Ring: 5 stars
Membership: 5 stars
On Forgiveness: 4 stars
A S...more
Bob
This book is a gem, or rather a necklace of nine gems. The book consists of nine messages given by C.S. Lewis during the World War Two period. In addition to the title essay, it includes one of my all-time favorites, "Learning in War-Time", which argues the intrinsic value of academic work for those called to this task, even when other things (like war) seem far more pressing.

The other essays included are:

"Why I'm Not a Pacifist" giving Lewis's arguments for engagement in armed conflict.

"Transpo...more
Doug
Once again I find myself absolutely drawn in by Lewis' wisdom and wit. Lewis manages to come across as both educated and refined in his wording, and yet still presents himself as a common man. A man I could know and get along with quite well. A man that contains a sense of mischevous humor and given to bouts of extreme thoughtfulness and seriousness. This is a compilation of his smaller essays and speeches, some of which are more pertinent to this time than others, some that are pertinent to ete...more
Hosanna
I'll wager to say that these essays are some of C.S. Lewis' best and most convincing. It gnaws and (sometimes painfully) digs out the hard prejudice that Christians are liable to have. He writes, not in an attempt to convince that Christianity is true (as he takes this as an understood) but burrows deeper and more extensively as to why the belief is worth it--why it's worth taking the uncertainty as certainty. He attempts to shift our prospective from the temporal to the eternal, our life here o...more
Heather
I like reading CS Lewis' books. His words give me a lot to think about. This book includes many thoughts on our destiny and place in God's eyes. It talks about the importance of humility, work, forgiveness, learning and growing.

Here are a few of my favorite thoughts:

"This does not mean that we are to be perpetually solemn. We must play. But our merriment must be of that kind (and it is, in fact, the merriest kind) which exists between people who have, from the outset, taken each other seriously....more
Jennifer
I loved this book, and I loved taking my time reading it. It is a collection of essays on life and faith. I think that even someone who does not consider themselves to be Christian would find something of value here. My favorite essays were "The Weight of Glory", "Is Theology Poetry?", "The Inner Ring", and "Membership".

The Weight of Glory
It is a serious thing to live in a society of possible gods and goddesses, to remember that the dullest and most uninteresting person you can talk to may one d...more
David
This is a series of essays, sermons and lectures on various topics. The first one, from which the book gets its title, begins with the assertion that our desires are far too weak for we fool around with all kinds of unsatisfying things while God offers us so much more. From this Lewis talks about heaven, the presence of God, glory itself, that is the only thing that will ultimately satisfy our deepest desires. I love how Lewis ends this, by turning the focus from who we will become to who our ne...more
Victoria
I have to be completely honest. I have nothing against C.S. Lewis at all, and this was probably the 4th theology book of his I have read (and the Narnia series, which I've always adored). My problem is that he rarely even used a reference to the Bible. It was all just an opinion without anything to back it up. I think also the language he uses throughout the book goes over my head. I also am a pacifist, and this book is more about trying to say why he isn't one and why he believes his opinion is...more
April
This book is deceiving. It looks "short" and manageable when in fact it is as dense as a college textbook. The book is a compilation of short essays and speeches on a wide range of topics. It's a bit jarring to jump from one to another. All I can say is: take your sweet time with this book. It is impossible to "power through" it. In fact, If you're pressed for time just read one speech. I cannot recommend enough "Learning in War Time." After reading it twice it got me to start considering gradua...more
The Chestertonian (Sarah G)
Great book! The title address is probably the most magnificent, but all are well worth reading many times over.

"At present we are on the outside of the world, the wrong side of the
door. We discern the freshness and purity of the morning, but they do
not make us fresh and pure. We cannot mingle with the splendours we see.
But all the leaves of the New Testament are rustling with the rumour
that it will not always be so. Some day, God willing, we shall get in.
"
--C. S. Lewis, "The Weight of Glory...more
Katherine
This is a collection of essays, not just "Weight of Glory," which for me is excellent news. If I could only read one author for the rest of my life, it would absolutely be C.S. Lewis; if it comes down to it, the rest of you can keep Narnia and MERE CHRISTIANITY and the rest of his book-length works. I'm going to spend my life reading Lewis's essays, starting by reading this selection a few more times.

Lewis has a peculiar effect on me: instead of simply recommending him, I feel the need to read h...more
Steve
Of course, this IS Lewis.
But the title essay of this collection has had an immense impact on my view of the Church and of those who are not yet the Church.

Here is the passage that has marked me:
"It is a serious thing to live in a society of possible gods and goddesses, to remember that the dullest and most uninteresting person you 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 a corruption such as you now meet, if at al...more
Gunner McGrath
I love C.S. Lewis' writings, which I consider to be Christian philosophy (hopefully I am not the only one). The way he writes of the things of God and humanity ring so true and have the air of authority to them; I am continually amazed by his viewpoint and wisdom. Of the various addresses compiled in this book, the most significant to me are "The Weight of Glory", "Learning in War-Time", "Membership", and "On Forgiveness".

Misty Lynne
This was a breath of fresh air after reading Ayn Rand. I would love to hear her and C.S. Lewis hash out some of their veiws together. That would be very interesting. C.S. Lewis is a comfort to me. What a brilliant man, and so full of faith and understanding. I am in awe. I love his piece in this book called "The Ring." I would recommend that to anyone.
Chad Gibbons
A great sermon by Lewis. He has the profound ability to put you in your place as a fallen creature. In this book we are reminded who we are in light of God. This is both extremely humbling, and profoundly significant. Every person you have met or will ever meet is an immortal soul whose worth and glory transcends the very universe itself: Act accordingly.
Sally
This book is a collection of addresses Lewis gave to varied audiences. It was fun to encounter some familiar quotations in context! What I most loved was the window into his mind. Being a foolish thinker, I greatly appreciate his robust, clear-eyed, God-centered thinking. Every time I read Lewis I come away more certain that we become who we are truly created to be when we give ourselves over to God. Anything else is just an attempt to get God to agree with us, and I can certainly vouch for the...more
Lillian
How is C. S. Lewis so perfect? Seriously. It isn't fair that he can say things so exactly, so precisely that I can FEEL the lightbulb blinking on in my skull. I'd complain about unfairness of this unequal distribution of talent, but since I'm clearly enjoying his work, I suppose I can begrudge him his writing prowess.

Still.

I'm jealous.
Perelandra
The Weight of Glory sermon is excellent, but of all the essays/talks in the book my favorite is The Inner Ring. This essay is phenomenal and left me in a state of sublime clarity. It is one of the best pieces of C. S. Lewis I have ever read, indeed, one of the best items I have ever read, period.
Josette
The version I read included the addresses: "The Weight of Glory", "Transposition", "Membership", "Learning in War Time" and "The Inner Ring". I loved each of them for different reasons. A delicious little morsel (from "Learning in War Time"):

"Most of all, perhaps, we need intimate knowledge of the past. Not that the past has any magic about it, but because we cannot study the future, and yet need something to set against the present, to remind us that the basic assumptions have been quite differ...more
Michael

So far, this group of essays has shaped my thinking more than any other of his fine collections.

First read 10/2012. Just fantastic. Especially "The Weight of Glory," "Is Theology Poetry," "The Inner Circle," "Forgiveness," and "A slip of the tongue"
Mark Ward
The first essay (it was sort of a sermon) in the book has been immensely helpful for me. Yes, it is a mine of famous John Piper quotes, but you've got to read the whole thing. Lewis' insights into motivation are gold.
Erin Henry
This book changed my life more than any other Christian book. I want to read it every year just to remind myself of the insights and the glory that comes with being a christian.
Mata
'The weight of glory' and 'Transposition' are excellent pieces! This guy is truly worth reading.
Mike Savage
Weighty but lift-able.
Laura
What's interesting is that Lewis is addressing many of the same issues as Donald Miller in the other book I'm reading (Searching For God Knows What) -- but I gotta tell you, as much as I enjoy Miller's wit and fresh perspective, it's taking him a whole book to say what Lewis says in about 10 pages. A few favorite quotes, if I may:

"We are half-hearted creatures fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies...more
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CLIVE STAPLES LEWIS (1898–1963) was one of the intellectual giants of the twentieth century and arguably one of the most influential writers of his day. He was a Fellow and Tutor in English Literature at Oxford University until 1954. He was unanimously elected to the Chair of Medieval and Renaissance Literature at Cambridge University, a position he held until his retirement. He wrote more than th...more
More about C.S. Lewis...
The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe (Chronicles of Narnia, #1) The Chronicles of Narnia (Chronicles of Narnia, #1-7) The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (Chronicles of Narnia, #3) The Magician's Nephew (Chronicles of Narnia, #6) Prince Caspian (Chronicles of Narnia, #2)

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“It would seem that Our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.” 1622 likes
“We live, in fact, in a world starved for solitude, silence, and private: and therefore starved for meditation and true friendship.” 385 likes
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