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The Weight of Glory (1980)
by C. S. Lewis
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C. S. Lewis has a way of taking your brain, blending it up, stomping on it and somehow putting it back better. ( )
This is a book of essays. As usual, I struggle with C.S. Lewis. Sometimes he makes perfect sense, and helps me to understand what people are thinking with this whole religion thing. Other times he will make sweeping generalizations, "a scientist would think", "an atheist would think", that are frustrating. A good book, and I still admire him even if he sometimes makes me want to fling the book across the room.
I always enjoy C.S. Lewis. He thinks so logically and thoroughly on subjects which I have never considered.
This is the first book I’ve ever finished by C.S. Lewis—including the Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe series (yes, I know!). I assumed that I would find myself bored or confused by his books. I never knew how sharp his arguments are. I found myself constantly just impressed at how he weaves through this complicated theology in such a profound way. I’m sure that about five re-reads would have to be in order for me to even grasp half of what he’s saying, but for my first read, I gained a lot. This is one for those who like to argue, those on the fence, those who doubt the depth of faith. It was GOOD!
I really enjoyed some of the messages in this collection. I won't say they all grabbed my attention; some of them were dry, too many words spent on a simple thing. Others were works of art that made their point well.
My favourites were these:
* The Weight of Glory - the best, both for its wording and its content. Explains that the aching dissatisfaction we have with the best things in this life reveals a something that can satisfy, but is only available in the next life. The point being 1. don't waste your life trying to content yourself with empty things, but long for and strive for the coming approval of God (which he identifies as the thing), and 2. remember that those around you are immortal beings headed for an awesome eternal glory or a horrific eternal shame/destruction. Let that be a gravity to your life.
* Transposition - the concept of things being "transposed" (I would use the word "projected") from a greater realm to a lesser. Just like a sunrise on a mountaintop can be captured by painting a flat canvas, and a full symphonic score can be arranged for a piano, so the glories of God, Christ, and Heaven are transposed into, projected onto, reduced down into our realm into things we can understand. When the Bible describes these things (sometimes in ways that seem mundane or even weird) we mustn't forget that the realities they represent are far greater than we can understand.
* On Forgiveness - a reminder to not confuse asking God to forgive our sins with asking him for excuse our sins. When we have sinned, there may have been extenuating circumstances -- God knows -- but we are still at fault. When we ask God to forgive us we must own our sin, acknowledge it, and then ask for him to cover it with Christ's blood. Not try to say "It wasn't my fault."
* A Slip of the Tongue - are we really prepared for the cost of "you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength."? Are we prepared to be slaves of Christ, to be not our own but "bought with a price"? Often we want to be close to God, but not too close. We want to get close enough to receive his benefits, but we also want to keep a little corner of our life for ourselves. While praying one day, Lewis accidentally prayed to be done with spiritual things so as to not miss out on the earthly things, rather than the other way around. This caused him to meditate on the fact that deep down, he actually wanted this.
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Selected from sermons delivered by C. S. Lewis during World War II, these nine addresses show the beloved author and theologian bringing hope and courage in a time of great doubt. "The Weight of Glory," considered by many to be Lewis's finest sermon of all, is an incomparable explication of virtue, goodness, desire, and glory. Also included are: "Transposition," "On Forgiveness," "Why I Am Not a Pacifist," and "Learning in War-Time," in which Lewis presents his compassionate vision of Christianity in language that is both lucid and compelling.
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Melvil Decimal System (DDC)252.03Religions Christian pastoral theology, homiletics and religious orders Texts of sermons Anglican And Episcopal
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