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When Donkeys Talk: A Quest to Rediscover the…
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When Donkeys Talk: A Quest to Rediscover the Mystery and Wonder of… (edició 2013)

de Tyler Blanski

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Tyler Blanski reminds us that God works in unexpected, unusual, and miraculous ways, living among and speaking through the wondrous world he has made.
Títol:When Donkeys Talk: A Quest to Rediscover the Mystery and Wonder of Christianity
Autors:Tyler Blanski
Informació:Zondervan (2013), Paperback, 224 pages
Col·leccions:La teva biblioteca
Etiquetes:non-fiction, inspirational

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When Donkeys Talk: A Quest to Rediscover the Mystery and Wonder of Christianity de Tyler Blanski

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I don’t really know where to begin talking about this one. There’s no broad lede I can start from to introduce a writer who’s prepared to talk about everything in the cosmos as it relates to the Christian God. Poet and theologian Tyler Blanski has a fundamentally different way of approaching his faith and his religion. When Donkeys Talk chronicles his journey through the field of theology as he comes to understand it. Along the way, we meet a few friends that help to clarify matters and few who muddy the waters.

It all starts with the Book of Numbers. In it, Balaam is riding on a donkey with the princes of Moab in defiance of a direct command from God. He twice sends angels (that only the donkey can see) to stop him and twice the donkey stops in its tracks. This irks Balaam and he beats the donkey in order to get it to move forward. When this happens a third time and Balaam strikes the donkey, God grants speech to the ass, who then berates Balaam for his belligerence. The angel now appears to both Balaam and the donkey, and Balaam begs for forgiveness.

These stories are treated with extreme skepticism by atheists and gentle laughter from Christians. They are parables, stories from which to glean life lessons. But Blanski argues differently. Blanski posits that each little miraculous occurrence in the Bible happened and that God’s ability to perform miracles is the quintessence of Christian faith. From this understanding of how God operates, he weaves an intricate tapestry of theology. He argues that when we allow for the miraculous, then the sacraments gain meaning, the Kingdom of the Lord is more easily accessible.

He frames the journey as if he were the one riding the donkey through his life, first becoming irate at occurrences that move off his intended path, but then coming to the understanding that they are all part of the plan. He incorporates elements of early Christian rituals and thought with modern science and medieval thinkers. He bounces his ideas off his many neighbors: a church deacon, a burly non-believer, a young Christian, and a red-headed ex-Jewish agnostic. One of his main arguments is that modern science and industrial thought have convinced humanity that it can understand everything (or least be composed of individuals the sum total of whose knowledge would cover everything). Everything can be explained with the laws of science. He thinks that when that happens, we incorrectly equate ourselves with God.

This book was a fun and quick read. Having published a few books before, Blanski has a good sense of timing, flow, and anecdotal humor. Granted, I don’t think I could ever be his friend; the conversations he documents in the book seem a bit contrived to me. The only irritating part is his constant belittling of scientists, calling them “residents of Atomland.” These cutesy, patronizing damnations get in the way of his real message. If you want to have a little fun with one of the faithful flock, however, then this one may be right for you. ( )
1 vota NielsenGW | Mar 6, 2013 |
A beautiful, fresh, different look at Christian faith. When Donkeys Talk describes Christianity it is not in mundane terms, but strange, different, alive, with humour, taking us from the medieval perspective to today’s mechanical ways in Atomland. We realize God is God. He is not part of our world; we are part of His world, the world He created.

Do we not believe in miracles anymore in Atomland?

"I could not help but wonder: is a talking donkey a divine portent or a dental problem? Everything about our modern presuppositions is pitted against the possibility of miracles. If Balaam were a modern scientist and he heard his donkey talk, he would probably study the donkey’s vocal cords."

When I read the pictures painted of heaven filled with stars, of how the early church and medieval Christians understood Christianity and Sacraments, the knight in me is stirred to the rescue –to the rescue of worshipping God in awe, not meaningless rituals.

"The idolatry of Atomland says, “Because I think, therefore I exist.” It says this because godlessness naturally leads to nihilism, narcissism, and inflated self-love. In Atomland, I come first; I decide what is truth. Students in the Kingdom of God, however say, “I am because God is. I love because he loves me. Because I love, I think; and because I am sinful, sometimes I think idolatrous thoughts like, ‘I think, therefore I am,’ as if I were God.” When we live in the love of God, allowing Jesus to renew our hearts and our minds, our loves are reoriented. We are no longer the harbingers of truth. We live in the trail of God’s salvation stories, of his love. When we apprentice ourselves to Jesus, we are enrolling in a class of love."

God is even in the little things. Tyler Blanski reminds us that the Jesus was the one who coined phrases such as ‘den of thieves,’ ‘signs of the times,’ ‘salt of the earth’, and ‘pearls before the swine’. We use these phrases glibly and forget who said them. Sometimes we perceive God in the same way. We forget He is in the little things. Perhaps it is time to go back to the Source.
The message I received from reading When Donkeys Talk, is - Jesus is not only a story; Jesus entered real history and changed real lives, and He is still doing it today. The depth of His love and grace is not measurable.
I highly recommend When Donkeys Talks. It is truly a quest to rediscover the mystery and wonder of Christianity.

Zondervan Publishers as part of their media review bloggers program provided this eBook to me for free in exchange for this honest review. ( )
  retha.groenewald.56 | Feb 18, 2013 |
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For my dear friend, Michael Ward
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If I were to tell you that I had a talking donkey, you would probably chuckle and pour another drink.
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Tyler Blanski reminds us that God works in unexpected, unusual, and miraculous ways, living among and speaking through the wondrous world he has made.

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