52 in 52 Week 30: The Weight of Glory and Other Addresses


This has been on my Kindle since June 2010 because, while reading Desiring God by John Piper for our Jesus Community, I wanted that famous quote from "The Weight of Glory":
"If there lurks in most modern minds the notion that to desire our own good and earnestly to hope for the enjoyment of it is a bad thing, I submit that this notion has crept in from Kant and the Stoics and is no part of the Christian faith. Indeed, if we consider the unblushing promises of reward and the staggering nature of the rewards promised in the gospels, 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" (The Weight of Glory by C.S. Lewis, p. 1-2).
When I read this quote John Piper's excellent book Desiring God (one every follower of Jesus should read IMHO) about 20 years ago, it mesmerized me. Yet, I had never read the quote in context, and now I have! The introduction by Walter Hooper is very interesting because it gives insight in how the man "walked his talk" since Hooper was an associate of Lewis. I think we all would have liked Lewis. He rates up there in "people of awesomeness" for me. 

Even though he is awesome, C.S. Lewis has always made my head hurt (like Dallas Willard). His mind is beyond brilliant. So, as hard as it was to listen to all these addresses this morning it was good for my soul after having just finished Hemingway's The Sun Also Rises last night.  The juxtaposition between these two men, born only 234 days apart and both injured in World War I, is startling. One wrote depressing fiction as part of the "Lost Generation" and the other wrote uplifting fiction and non-fiction as part of the "Found."  Praise God for C.S. Lewis. 
Here are more details about this book from http://www.disciplemagazine.com/www/articles/149.552:
The Weight of Glory is a collection of nine sermons and essays originally composed by Lewis between 1939 and 1956. An original collection was published in 1949, and reworked into its current form in 1980 by trustee and literary advisor of Lewis’ estate, Walter Hooper, whose introduction to this volume sheds light on the many ways in which Lewis lived out the truths he wrote about. 

The title sermon, which appears first in the book, represents Lewis’ most direct work on the value of individuals to God; he affirms that men are immortal souls who have more intrinsic worth than all the cultures and achievements of history. He builds an eloquent case for our responsibility to evangelize and care for our fellow man, reminding us that through every action we are helping our fellow eternal beings toward becoming either “immortal horrors or everlasting splendors.” 

The second major statement in the book is the essay ‘‘Transposition’’ in which Lewis undercuts the Roman Catholic teaching that the elements of communion are actually transformed into the body and blood of Jesus upon receipt. Instead, he posits that the Lord chose those elements to evoke the imagery of His sacrifice through the bread and the cup as a powerful sensory reminder for us. 

Lewis’ lecture “Is Theology Poetry?” explores the artistry of God’s story of creation and redemption and leaves us to marvel at the precision which it describes reality. This piece is one of the fundamental texts on worldview thinking, that is, understanding that one’s beliefs and presuppositions form the basis for his values, ideas and behaviors. It is probably best remembered for his oft-quoted statement, “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.” 

The remaining portions of the book, “Learning in War-Time”, “Why I Am Not a Pacifist”, “The Inner Ring”, “Membership”, “On Forgiveness”, and “A Slip of the Tongue” cover issues from relationships and exclusivism to education and courage to participation in the life of the Body. 

Lewis wrote from standpoint of wonderment at the mystery of God informed by his conversion from atheism relatively late in life. Each essay, lecture, or sermon in this volume contains pearls of wisdom that inspire and challenge the reader to love the Lord with his mind. Taken as a whole, it is an invaluable resource to give form to the ideas that make the Christian life what it is. This book belongs on the shelf of every believer. 
Justin Lonas
I agree Justin!


Table of Contents:
"The Weight of Glory" (1), (2), (3), (4) (Brilliant) 
"Learning in War-Time" (1), (4), (5)
"Why I am Not a Pacifist" (4), (6), (7)
"Transposition" (1), (2), (3), (4)
"Is Theology Poetry?" (2), (3), (4)
"The Inner Ring" (1), (2), (3), (4) (Really liked this one!)
"Membership" (1), (4), (5)
"On Forgiveness" (4), (5)
"A Slip of the Tongue" (2), (3), (4) (I liked this one too)
Notes:
(1) The original, 1949 version of this work included only these works. The other works were added in the 1980 edition. Also, the 1949 version was published in the U. K. under the title "Transposition and Other Addresses".
(2) also published in "They Asked for a Paper"
(3) also published in "Screwtape Proposes a Toast and Other Pieces"
(4) also published in "Essay Collection and Other Short Pieces"
(5) also published in "Fern-Seed and Elephants and Other Essays"
(6) also published in "Timeless at Heart: Essays on Theology"
(7) also published in "Compelling Reason"

2 comments

Popular posts from this blog

Snapfish versus Shutterfly

1. The Game with Minutes by Frank C. Laubach

8. Prayer: The Mightiest Force in the World by Frank C. Laubach