The Eternal Truths of God
Posted by Literary Titan
Before the Foundation of the World is a collection of poetry that explores the nature of good and evil in God’s creation. Why was this an important collection for you to write?
I think Before the Foundation of the World was important for me to write because it was a working out to the depth of me what I felt about God and the foundational truths of the Christian religion. From good to bad in the world, I always felt I could rely on God and do. I feel this book is my way of making an offering to God of what I could give of myself most wholeheartedly. Not just money in the collection plate, but something of myself and my time that I hoped would be meaningful to other people and would present the eternal truths of God in a way that would be pleasing and memorable, the way a good song sticks with you or the way a poem makes you look at the world a little differently. I wanted to give something to God to say thank you for my life with you. And I wanted to present God’s truth to others in order to represent faith as a gift that we all accept with gratitude and joy. I hope that the poems will strike a chord and perhaps encapsulate certain ideas and feelings that never fade or wither away.
The poems are exceptionally well written. Did you write them for this collection or did you write them over time?
I’m thrilled that you liked the book. It took me many years to write. First I researched each topic I wanted to write about for several months, reading in theology and the Bible or even in fiction or nonfiction about faith. Then I wrote the poem over a series of another few months struggling with each word and line to perfectly express what was in my heart. I wanted the poems to rhyme especially because I love seventeenth-century sonnets and also because we live in a world of laws, natural law or moral law, and I felt that rhyme expresses and captures the essence of living within the lines but doing so with great fervor and passion. So that law is not an oppression but a freeing of the soul in time. The way a line can express and illustrate a certain concept with a great outpouring of emotion. So a poem is like a bird in flight. The bird obeys certain conventions in natural law, physics, and in doing so is also freed to soar. In the same way, a poem that obeys certain rules breaks the limitations of gravity on the spirit and spreads its wings like that bird.
My favorite poem is “Joseph in Egypt”. Do you have a favorite poem from the collection?
I’m actually partial to “I’m Never Far Away.” This is a poem in the voice of Jesus that, to my great surprise, just popped out of me one day. I wrote it with practically no revision which is almost unheard of as I practice writing. Usually I struggle terribly to fit the words to the image I have in my mind. I rework the print over and over again until the image, the sound, and the words are one. In this case, the words just came out of me and flowed onto the page. I meant this poem to capture the grace of Christ whose love is enduring and all encompassing. That’s why it means so much to me. “Let the fishes and the beasts herald the breaking of my day,/ For, just as sunlight speckles morning’s foal, I am never far away.” I live next door to a horse farm. I was thinking of the magic of that farm in the early morning when I write in my study with the breaking sun over the fields and the paddock by my house. That’s what this couplet is all about, the magic of God’s world, the argument from design of the goodness of God and his creation.
Do you plan on writing and publishing more books of poetry?
At this time, I’ve decided I want to go into prison ministry. I want to write essays for prisoners about faith and Christianity and our need for them in life no matter where we find ourselves. I want to walk with a candle in the dark for a while. I’ve wanted to do this for years and finally decided to put my personal writing behind for some direct work for God’s kingdom. I don’t know where I’ll go to in the future. For right now I feel called to move into writing nonfiction. There are many ways to serve and for now I’m satisfied with what I’ve written in poetry so far. I also have a children’s book of poems out that can be seen at Susanweinerbooks.com, where you can find Bible studies for Before the Foundation of the World too.
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.
About Literary TitanThe Literary Titan is an organization of professional editors, writers, and professors that have a passion for the written word. We review fiction and non-fiction books in many different genres, as well as conduct author interviews, and recognize talented authors with our Literary Book Award. We are privileged to work with so many creative authors around the globe.
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