Review: The Weight of Glory

 

The Weight of Glory is an album
inspired by the poetry, works of
fiction and essays that C.S. Lewis

 
It’s hard to find someone that hasn’t been touched in some way by the writings of C.S. Lewis. Whether you reference “The Chronicles of Narnia” or books like “The Screwtape Letters” or “Mere Christianity”. There is something about his writing that seems to transcend time and teach you more about the heart of God. Lewis’ writings have inspired generations and have been adapted for just about any medium you can think of.
Heath McNease’s new album, The Weight of Glory is an album that is inspired by the poetry, works of fiction and essays that C.S. Lewis wrote over his the 64 years that he lived. So how do these classic works of literature translate in the hands of one of the hardest working musicians around?
I’m not shocked by the fact that this album has so much depth to it. Heath is a fan of literature and has never shied away from digging into some obscure literary references in his past albums. Some of the first books that I read as a Christian came from the writings of C.S. Lewis. It was inspiring to read work from this man who broke down some of the deepest thoughts of God.
Don’t expect the hip-hop side of Heath to show himself on this album that is filled with atmospheric tones, acoustic guitar work and the occasional piano. The vocal work from Heath on the song “Screwtape Letters” has to be some of the best work he’s done to date. The song touches on the little ways that we find ourselves sliding into sin with the enemy working behind the scenes.

“The safest shade of comfort is the muted gray.
It’s the luke warm water in between the hot and cold that He spits out in disgrace.
Someone here, wants to force my hand.
Something here, wants to force my hand.”

One of the most catchy upbeat songs has to be the track titled “The Problem of Pain”. The song takes a look at how we see God while in the mist of lifes pain. It’s a very cool way to tackle a book from the 1940′s where C.S. Lewis attempted to answer some of the hardest questions about suffering.
There are so many great tracks from “The Great Divorce” to the haunting “Perelandra” which comes from Lewis’ Space Trilogy series. This album really shows Heath’s ability use literature as the base to write music that anyone can relate to.
One of my favorite tracks has to be the rough and gritty song “Mere Christianity”. It was cool to see how Heath translated one of my favorite C.S. Lewis books into a texture rich song about our position as Christians.
It’s not a surprise that Heath wrote a concept album based on the writings of C.S. Lewis and did it a great job in the process. What’s surprising is that every time you listen, there will be something new that will stick out among these 12 tracks. Do yourself a favor and head to www.heathmcnease.bandcamp.com and pick up this album. It might just make you take another look at an author that has helped shape and inspire generations of Christians.
Source: Collision | Review by Ryan Gutowski
 

12th & Delaware

 

Wearing my other hat as a filmmaker.

 
In 2010 I attended the international premiere of the abortion film, “12th & Delaware,” at the Hot Docs film festival in Toronto. It is a film about two clinics that are on opposite sides of the street at this Ft. Pierce, FL, intersection. One is an abortion clinic and one is a pro-life pregnancy care center with staff and volunteers that actively protest across the street.
The film is well-crafted, engaging the audience immediately in the subject.
It also has tremendous access to the pregnant women who visit both clinics. As a producer, I was amazed that so many women would agree to be on film during such a stressful and pivotal time. The filmmakers spent a lot of time with both clinics and the film feels even-handed in the time it allots to both. It excels as a documentary, offering interesting characters and compelling tension. Unfortunately, the “interesting characters” are all on the pro-life side.
If you are pro-life, you have to admire on some level their dedication to the cause.
But there wasn’t much humility or grace exhibited, unfortunately, by many of the protesters. At least it was edited to feel that way. As the film progressed, I realized that may be due to the fact that the gospel never seemed to be reference point for these pro-life activists.
Even so, I found myself praying throughout this screening, especially when people snickered at the aborted fetus sign. That was a helpless human being whose lifeless, bloody body was on display. God help us all if that doesn’t elicit some sympathy and respect.
The film ends with the statistic that there are some 4,000 pregnancy care centers in the U.S. and only 816 abortion clinics. And that was the focal point of the discussion afterward with the directors, Rachel Grady and Heidi Ewing. Just like I was before I became a Christian, these were women working in the media who had never heard of pregnancy centers. I distinctly remember being shocked to find out about them when I began going to church–I didn’t know there were any pro-life people who put their money where their mouths were.
And therein lies the offense.
In the Q&A afterward, someone asked a question about what happened to the women who decided to continue their pregnancies. The directors said they got no help. All the aid that was promised by the pregnancy center evaporated, they said. That’s when a man behind me asked if the directors were going to post “the truth” about these centers on their website. I raised my hand then to offer the perspective that not all centers are like that, but I was never called on.
At the conclusion, I was able to engage the man behind me in a short conversation. I asked if he would like to know my perspective, and I told him I had volunteered for five years with a pregnancy center that was quite dissimilar to the one portrayed (again, assuming an accurate representation). I had been a mentor to four pregnant women, relationships that had gone on for years in most cases. Each woman and her child received all kinds of material and emotional help from me and my church. To his credit, he listened politely and seemed willing to hear me out.
Then I was able to make the same point to co-director Rachel Grady afterward. I offered my sincere congratulations on a fine film, then I asked if she would like to hear my experience. I told her briefly about my years of mentoring work, which ranged from birthing support to baby showers to job networking to legal help with the immigration arrest of one baby’s father. I wanted to let her know the center she profiled is not representative of all. She kindly heard me out and thanked me for coming.
I am grateful to have had these opportunities to speak up.
My hope is that Rachel will remember this in future presentations and perhaps allow for the fact that not all pregnancy centers are represented in this film. I also hope you fine readers will attend screenings and humbly represent your perspective, however possible, to others present. I believe it is important that gospel-centered, gracious, pro-life people are present at screenings just for this reason.
Finally, we also have a responsibility to make sure the centers we know are accurately representing medical facts, are motivated by the gospel, are avoiding deception, are fulfilling their promises, and are in no way endorsing or justifying the murder of others–even abortion doctors.
________________
Some blog posts are worth repeating. This is one of them. ~ CMC
Read the original post or comment at Carolyn McCulley’s blog.
 
[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’]http://christmycovenant.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/carolyn-mcculley.png[/author_image] [author_info]Carolyn McCulley is the author of two books, Radical Womanhood: Feminine Faith in a Feminist World (Moody Publishers, 2008) and Did I Kiss Marriage Goodbye? Trusting God with a Hope Deferred (Crossway, 2004). Carolyn is also a contributor to Sex and the Supremacy of Christ, edited by John Piper and Justin Taylor (Crossway, 2005), as well as to other webzines and publications. She is a frequent conference speaker for women’s ministry events and also maintains a blog, Radical Womanhood. [/author_info] [/author]