From the first sentence, readers of “ORSBORNAGAIN,” by Major Rob Birks (Frontier Press, 2013), realize Birks has penned something special. Reintroducing the poetry of Albert Orsborn to a new generation of readers is a good idea. Reinterpreting the poetry of Albert Orsborn—also known as the Poet General—to a new generation of readers is a great idea.
Birks reflects on Orsborn’s poetry from a personal viewpoint. What makes this treatment effective is perspective—specifically, a generational perspective.
Birks also writes from a postmodern worldview. ORSBORNAGAIN provides a new generation of postmodern Salvationists with some of the finest theological insights in our history. Birks crafted Orsborn’s verse into a meaningful devotional: a theological primer for the emerging Salvation Army world.
More than just a solid effort for a first-time writer, this work offers the reader a fresh and worthwhile journey into classic Salvationist poetry. Birks’s use of personal stories, coupled with examples from the larger culture, create thoughtful narratives to accompany Orsborn’s lyrics. His shared memories, spanning from childhood to adulthood, provide a vehicle conveying the “new life” contained within the words of the Poet General.
ORSBORNAGAIN is an excellent resource for both personal and corporate spiritual application within The Salvation Army world. Its written voice and cultural context befit the 21st century reader. Birks’s purpose offers a new perspective on an old master.