I Blog For Books

29 June 2013

When Donkeys Talk

As a part of Booksneeze bloggers, I offer to read and review books. What I get in return is a free book! For someone who is a lifelong addict (yes, to books), free books are better than candy ... even to a candy lover like myself. Sometimes, a book comes along that sounds good but does not quite live up to the promotional materials that accompany it. For me, that was this book: When Donkeys Talk by Tyler Blanski.

The description of this book sounded like something that would intrigue me. Working my way through my own rediscovery of my faith, the book seemed to be one that might offer new insights and guidance. I did not find that to be necessarily so. While I enjoy Tyler Blanski's conversational style of writing, and some of his examples, overall I just felt that the book fell short of my expectations of it.

"Nothing ruins a good party like a story about a miracle" (Blanski, 2012).  Blanski pops you upfront with this statement, making you pause and wonder what exactly he will be sharing over the next 200+ pages. Think about those words: how many times, especially in today's world, does a mere mention of God, or Christianity, or beliefs, or miracles cause raised eyebrows and shaking of heads. Those raised to be polite might not voice the disbelief that shines blatantly through their eyes, but it is oh-so-obviously there. Miracles? Talking donkeys? Did you miss your psych appointment that I didn't know you had but obviously need?

Blanski explains the reasoning behind his quest: the biblical story of Balaam and his ass, realizing that "I had never taken that story seriously. In fact, I had never taken most of the Bible that seriously" (Blanski, 2012) [If you are unfamiliar with the story, it is in the book of Numbers] Relatable! Definitely, because I remember vague bible stories from youth, believing with the innocence of a child. As I grew older, some of the belief turned to skepticism, but never doubt. I was searching for an answer in When Donkeys Talk, an answer that I did not find.

I did, however, take away several bits of information from this book. One that resounded quite loudly was the quote Blanski included from Dietrich Bonhoeffer. "We are to find God in what we know, not in what we don't know" (Blanski, 2012) Think about that for a moment. Find God in what you know. True? I think it is. When I look around at my life - the blessings that I have received, and the struggles that I have had, the one constant is my faith. My belief that God is, and that He is powerful enough to do anything.

Dive into the not-so-typical book called When Donkeys Talk. While it was not one of my particular favorites, Tyler Blanski does share information to make you think. To make you want to start (or continue, as the case may be) your own quest to rediscover.

Blanski, T. (2012). When donkeys talk: A quest to rediscover the mystery and wonder of Christianity. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

But Balaam answered them: "Even if Balak gave me all the silver and gold in his palace, I could not do anything great or small to go beyond the command of the Lord my God."~Numbers 22:18 NIV

I received this book for free from Thomas Nelson Publishers in return for writing an honest review. A positive review was not required.

No comments:

Post a Comment