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When Donkeys Talk: A Quest to Rediscover the Mystery and Wonder of Christianity Paperback – January 22, 2013
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About the Author
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It's a great book, and a fast read. Blanski's historical work and Scriptural understanding are sound and the book truly helped me rediscover mystery and wonder in the faith. A treasure to have in my library.
Like a lot of good reads, this book is difficult to categorize. Yes it's a theological exploration, but it's also a memoir, and even a long, jazzy, monkish prayer. Tyler starts with the Old Testament story of the talking donkey, and catches himself not taking the Bible's crazier magic seriously. He rides on from there, a bit like Quixote, looking for magic, and exploring the ways that Christianity has not changed and perhaps should not change since the middle ages. He takes us all the way from Noah to baptism, and it's a beautiful, bumpy ride.
I still wish Tyler had called this book "When Asses Talk." This is a passionate writer's romp through Christianity, and the worm cans he opens up and the stones he leaves unturned may keep you up at night, but that is probably a sign you're thinking about this stuff the right way.
Stephen the Philistine, Tyler's sparring partner in many discussions, said it right; whether or not you agree with everything in the book, you'll be glad to have Tyler as a traveling companion for thirty too-short chapters. Of course this isn't our excellent cousin's final book (it had better not be), but so far it's his best.
Postmodernism has left an indelible abyss in daily thought. Truth is questioned and in some minds whatever is held as true for the individual is deemed truth. Relativism is the word for our day. When truth is compromised perceptions and world views are skewed as well. Gone are the days of living in unity with Creation and the Creator. The mystique of the world has been stripped away by the scientific community of evolution. When one takes away the days of Creation a lot more is lost than a few days. The luster of Christianity dulls. So, now what? How can we get back to be mesmerized by our surroundings, His story and captivated by Christ?
Blanski poses these questions and endeavors to discover the innate beauty in our lives. God's handiwork attests to being. His fingerprint is unmistakable. Yet, the secularization of society has embedded us into a world of black and white on the printed page. If something, some notion cannot be verified by empirical data than we are to chalk it up to myth, the very place that God has been relegated to.
However, as believers when we look at our faith and hold it to be truth why aren't we willing to accept Balaam's talking donkey as a possibility? If God has the power to create us, than certainly He has the ability to make a donkey speak words of wisdom. If donkeys can be used by God just imagine the possibilities for our own use and lives. The repercussions or at least potential repercussions are amazing. Blanski finds enchantment in the mystery around us. He peels off secularism and materialism and journeys counter-culturally across the historical landscape of the Bible.
Tyler Blanski, a writer and musician, fascinates the reader with his idyllic, whimsical pen that is all his own. I was just as captured by his language, as much as I was with his thought. Don't misunderstand, his thought process is something to behold; it is the blending of the two that makes When Donkeys Talk a wonderful book full of enchantment that allows the reader to peer into Blanski's spiritual quest.
Evidently, I am a huge fan of When Donkeys Talk. I can only hope others will discover this book and join Tyler for a ride on the back of a donkey plunging the depths of Christ's wonders. One word of caution: the synonym for donkey is used a lot and there may be a couple other words to color your cheeks.