The Weight of Glory by C.S. Lewis
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Lewis wrote with a glorious mixture of common sense and an ever-present awareness of eternity close at hand. This collection of essays powerfully shapes the Christian mind to give God’s glory the weight it deserves in our estimation. But his treatment of God’s glory is unexpectedly this-worldly. Why should we go on reading books when bombs are dropping? How can we experience the spiritual when the only tools we seem to have are crude senses and emotions? How do we deal with temptations of the world like ambition and craving the approval of men? How do we maintain a right godly mind as we go through our prayers? How can we maintain a rich private life, while not isolating ourselves from the body of Christ?
Lewis writes this way, with a determined down-to-earth-ness, both because it was who he naturally was, and to engage with and defeat the prevailing materialism of his day. He ably showed the plausibility of the Christian worldview to secularists who only wanted to consider the physical elements of the world as relevant or knowable.
I highly recommend these essays to you.
“I believe in Christianity as I believe that the Sun has risen, not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else” (140).
An older review of mine from 2011:
CS Lewis was a master essayist, who offered some bracing defenses of orthodox Christian thought and practice at a time when liberalism was already at high tide in his academic circles. Cogent and colorful, this book is a collection of essays:
1. The Weight of glory, in which he ties God's glory to the joy we desire but never fully achieve.
2. Learning in War time, a lecture to students during the war, making the case for continuing the pursuit of culture and vocation during wartime.
3. Why I am not a pacifist, in which he explains... why he is not a pacifist.
4. Transposition, a glorious take the relation between physical and spiritual, sensations and emotions, our resurrected body compared with our present one.
5. Is Theology Poetry? in which he rejects believing the theology because it is beautiful.
6. The Inner Ring, probably the most insightful essay on the temptation of all people no matter how old, to work for acceptance by the "in crowd," however you define that. He dissects the lure of the world, and the pride of life.
7. Membership, on how the Church as participating in the body of Christ keeps us from individualism and collectivism. Right up the political wonk's alley. If you wonder how to handle Acts 2:42-44 as a political conservative, read this.
8. On forgiveness, a short sermon on forgiving real faults, not rationalizing away people's offenses so there is really nothing to forgive.
9. A Slip of the Tongue, another sermon, facing honestly our desire to not commit too much to God before it hurts us in the "real" world.
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