Author: Susan Weiner
Before the Foundation of the World examines the nature of good and evil in God's creation. Using poetry and song lyrics, this collection offers a celebration of joy in response to God's covenant with man. From Christmas poems to simple lullabies, the author paints a vivid picture of the incredible experience of wonder in a world of God's design. An extended exchange in Appendix I with "The Father of Lies" ("Pater Mendaciorum") and the promises of Christian faith reflects our reconciliation with God and explores the redemption of mankind in the face of radical evil. Journeying from the psychology of evil to the good news of the spirit, Before the Foundation of the World speaks to the ways of God, embodying gratitude and love as the foundation for mature Christian belief.
Reviewer: Martha Robinson
This slender volume of poetry (41 pages) is a tiny gem. The design on the front cover is beautiful. Each of the inside pages has colorful border illustrations reminiscent of Medieval illustrated manuscripts.
Most of the poems retell familiar Bible stories using rhyming couplets that use vivid images of the natural world. One example of this from the poem “A Doxology of Light” is:
“Because the light that sparkles on the surface of the sea
Is the same that gilds the budding sycamore tree.”
The highlight of the volume for me was the section called “Appendix 1: Apocalyptica,” in which a poem from the point of view of “Pater Mendaciorum” or “Father of Lies” is followed by a poem like “Jesus of Galilee, Lord of the Jews.” It’s like a back-and-forth dialogue between Satan and God, Evil and Good.
The lullabies in Appendix 2 were also lovely. In particular, I thought “The Hymn of the Magi,” was appropriate for the Christmas season.
The only problem I had with this book was the use of Latin phrases in “Pater Mendaciorum IV.” I had to stop reading to look up the meaning of each phrase.
I also wanted more poems. I hope Susan Weiner will publish another volume of poetry soon!
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