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The Weight of Glory

4.40  ·  Rating details ·  15,909 ratings  ·  933 reviews
Selected from sermons delivered by C. S. Lewis during World War II, these nine addresses offer guidance and inspiration in a time of great doubt. These are ardent and lucid sermons that provide a compassionate vision of Christianity.

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 p
Paperback, 192 pages
Published March 3rd 2001 by HarperSanFrancisco (first published 1949)
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Average rating 4.40  · 
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 ·  15,909 ratings  ·  933 reviews

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Jul 19, 2016 rated it really liked it

This was pretty fantastic! I didn't enjoy it as much as other Lewis books, but you gotta admit that he is super eloquent. He has a way of getting to the heart of things that is unlike any other. The last few essays really hit me hard, and I love him for that.
Will always love CS Lewis
Cindy Rollins
Jan 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reread, 2017
"The negative idea of Unselfishness carries with it the suggestion not primarily of securing good things for others, but of going without them ourselves, as if our abstinence and not their happiness was the important point."

I have 44 highlights in the Kindle Book and I reread it regularly. In fact, I try to read at least one CS Lewis book every January to start the year off right. This is one of my favorites. It feels like Lewis and I chatting randomly about life and stuff. Of course, I just sit
Douglas Wilson
Feb 24, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Just great. Also read in November of 1995. Great. Also read in February of 1994. Also read in June of 1981. Listened to the Audible version in February of 2016. Finished listening to it again on Audible in January 2018.
2020 Review
As almost always happens, a re-read brought clarity. Transposition jumped up to one of my favorite essays on this list. Actually, so did Why I'm Not a Pacifist. Such profound, thought-provoking pieces.
And of course, the sermon The Weight of Glory demanded at least two more reads. I'm always discovering more there.
This is one of my favorite pieces of Lewis scholarship, mostly because of how bite-size it is. It is a collection of sermons and speeches given by Lewis and because of that
Jonathan Terrington

"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 ent
Nov 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: only if you are human
I’m recording The Weight of Glory as ‘read’ now, but actually I first encountered this marvelous essay years ago. It has been part of me for so long I don’t even remember when I first heard about it or haven't had it in my storehouse of “essential documents”. It might even have been my introduction to the immortal Lewis; for better or worse I wasn’t raised on the Narnia chronicles.

The quote, ‘We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offer
May 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This book made my reread list. I love his eloquence. He often presents powerful messages in a gentle way. That is a gift.
I've read different C.S. Lewis books over the years. He is the most often quoted author in Christian religion. This book, however, is my favorite so far. I LOVED this book. It makes me want to be better and to do better. It was eloquently written without the fire and brimstone speech.

Sometimes books like this, tend to ma
The importance of rereading cannot be understated. We truly are different people each read. My perspective each reading is enlarged. (January 29, 2019)
Sally Linford
Mar 27, 2008 rated it it was amazing
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
Read "The Weight of Glory" here (Feb. 22, 2014). Can't believe it took me this far along in my life to read it. Read "Learning in War-Time" for the first time on Jan. 13, 2018. Read "The Weight of Glory" for the second time on Jan. 14, 2018. Dr. Richard Russell covered these first two essays in our CE class at church, before he got into The Great Divorce. I started teaching "The Weight of Glory" regularly at Regent in Fall 2018, and I got to give a presentation on it in Jan. 2019.

Read "The Inner
aliceinbagend (LydiaMae)
C.S. Lewis's Weight of Glory is just wonderful. His writing style is breezy and flows perfectly. His ideas about glory too are really inspiration and thought provoking.
And the edition I was reading this in. Floppy paperback and deckle edged! Um yES.
Jul 03, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: theology, own
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
Jan 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: about-faith
Wow. Just wow.

That's the feeling I always get after finishing one of C.S. Lewis's works; Mere Christianity was the same way for me. It's the feeling of, "well, that was that, and it was perfect, and there's nothing more I can even say".

Read this beautiful, thought-provoking book. It'll challenge you, convict you, and help you view the world-- and the Lord-- in light of eternity.

I underlined and marked so many quotes in this book, but these are a few of my favorites:

"The books or the music in whi
Julie Davis
Oct 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I listened to the audiobook and really enjoyed thinking that I was hearing these speeches as the first recipients did. Of course, C.S. Lewis wasn't speaking the words but an intermediary is necessary since I wasn't there to hear him.

Some of these talks have names that sound as if they will be antiquated or not particularly relevant to one's own life. I am thinking in particular of Is Theology Poetry and Why I am Not a Pacifist. However, what one soon discovers is that Lewis quickly winds up cov
Sherry Elmer
There are many quote-worthy ideas in these essays, but the chapter that outshines them all is "The Inner Ring." Please read it! It can save a lot of heartache.
Michael Austin
Dec 10, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-in-2018
This collection of nine sermons from 1939-1956 almost perfectly encapsulates, in separate essays, the things about C.S. Lewis that I love and the things about him that drive me nuts. I am rating it a three as a matter of averages. It contains some of the best work he ever did, and some of the worst.

Two of the essays are superb and make me want to call myself whatever kind of Christian C.S. Lewis was. The title essay, "The Weight of Glory," is justly famous for its peroration that goes like this:
Sep 04, 2008 rated it it was amazing
"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
Aug 11, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: the-inklings, 2015
(The Inklings Series is a monthly series featuring the works of my two favorites, J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis, or books about them. But I don’t want it to be just me chatting about these books, so that’s where y’all come in! I’ll announce the book at least four weeks in advance of when the discussion post will go live, so you have plenty of time to get the book and read it. Then, the following month, I’ll post a discussion post and let the fun begin!!)

You know when you read a book and once yo
Apr 03, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is perhaps one of Lewis' most famous collections. "The Weight of Glory" is a gorgeous sermon, and "Transpositions" a very strong and thoughtful piece. Each of the pieces is worthwhile, though he is stronger when he is tackling something in his own heart ("A Slip of the Tongue," "On Forgiveness," "The Inner Ring") than when he has a bee in his religious bonnet ("Membership"). Two public talks are quite strong regardless of whether you agree with them or not: "Learning in War-time" from 1939 ...more
Matthew Richey
A set of 9 essays. This is gold, up there with anything Lewis wrote. This is the sort of book you could reread every year and still glean from it. I especially enjoyed "The Weight of Glory," "Transposition," "The Inner Ring" (if you've read That Hideous Strength, you'll see lots of parallels), and "Membership" - and I have to stop there or I'll list more than half of the essays in my list of favorites from the collection....
May 18, 2020 rated it really liked it
"The Weight of Glory" and "On Forgiveness" are my favorites from this collection.

From "The Weight of Glory":

"To please be a real ingredient in the divine be loved by God, not merely pitied, but delighted in as an artist delights in his work or a father in a son⁠—it seems impossible, a weight or burden of glory which our thoughts can hardly sustain. But so it is" (39).

C.S. Lewis in 2020: Book 5 of 16
Feb 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
“All our merely natural activities will be accepted, if they are offered to God, even the humblest, and all of them, even the noblest, will be sinful if they are not.”

“If we let ourselves, we shall always be waiting for some distraction or other to end before we can really get down to our work. The only people who achieve much are those who want knowledge so badly that they seek it while the conditions are still unfavourable. Favourable conditions never come.”
Erin Neville
Jan 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing
It’s amazing to me how CS Lewis writing nearly eighty years ago still strikes at the heart at the very things I still think about today. He does so honestly and with a better vocabulary than I can nearly follow, and everything he writes is a joy to my soul.
Michelle Griep
Jan 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
I know. A lowly thinker such as myself has no business giving the great C.S. Lewis anything lower than a 5 star, yet here I am, awarding it a 4. Why? Well, honestly, in some parts I felt he belabored a point or two. Great points, obviously, but just a few a little overdone. Other than that, if you're looking for some food for thought, this is the meal for you. A few favorite quotes:

"...we remain conscious of a desire which no natural happiness will satisfy. But is there any reason to suppose tha
Ryan Hawkins
Each piece in this collection of nine essays is worth reading. Some of better than others for sure, but each one creatively introduces a new idea or thought. And as typical of Lewis, he explains and elaborates so well. His thoughts are quite profound.

My favorites were (in order): “The Weight of Glory”, “On Forgiveness”, “The Inner Ring”, and “Learning in War Time”. I also really enjoyed “Transposition” and “A Slip of the Tongue”. As for the other three (“Why I Am Not a Pacifist”, “Is Theology Po
Father Nick
Dec 27, 2007 rated it it was amazing
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
Like any collection of essays, there are ones I absolutely loved and ones I didn't enjoy quite as much, but overall this is an excellent collection of thought-provoking essays on a wide variety of topics.

I'm fairly certain all of these are transcripts of speeches or sermons that Lewis gave at various places throughout his years and, in typical Lewis fashion, he takes you along for what is sometimes a wild and winding ride, but in the end just drops these incredibly insightful and thought-provoki
Well it's by C. S. Lewis, so of course I liked it; but I think I liked it more the second time through. The essays seemed kind of random and unrelated at first, but the second time through they all harmonized. Short and sweet.
In the introduction, the editor of this collection of sermons and speeches tells an anecdote of a time when he and Lewis played a prank on his medical aide at his home when he was in the latter months of his illness and life; they piled stacks and stacks of Lewis' books around the aide while he was asleep, forming a wall, in which he woke up and truly did not know where he was because of the complete decor change and had to fight his way out of a wall of books. Considering Lewis' brilliance, I l ...more
Denae Christine
Mar 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
Such a short book. I listened to most of it twice, shocked that it was already over. I was expecting more of what John Piper gets into in some of his works, that you cannot understand the weight of God's mercy and glory until you understand the crushing weight of your sin. Instead, CS Lewis is more day-to-day, and that wasn't what I was looking for when I picked it up. Still good material, but forgettable. ...more
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the Goodreads database with this name.

Clive Staples Lewis 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

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