Building from the story of Balaam and his talking donkey from the book of Numbers in the Bible, Tyler writes about the God who transforms and builds lives. The journey he takes the reader on involves Biblical truth, ancient sages of the church’s past, and the cast of characters that make up Tyler’s friends.
The book for me started slow and I wondered what I had gotten myself into but I am so glad I went the distance. The story he weaves together of God at work is a tremendous read. When he writes of the Lord’s Supper and the impact it makes in our lives in part 6, this is my favorite part of the book. Christ is among us, and in bread and wine with body and blood.
The one who can make a donkey talk is the one who can make and meet us in life. Tyler states in the introduction that his book is “an invitation to go on a holy pilgrimage. It’s a treasure map.” The treasure that is found is the mystery and wonder of Christianity.
I appreciated his understanding of the Kingdom of God as not being off in a distance, but the realization that the Lord is reigning. God is alive,w ell and active in this world. The dissonance that some of Tyler’s friends push back against such a n understanding is the reality that not all hear the donkey talks, and even worse not all recognize the mystery and wonder of Christ at work in their lives.
The other part I loved about the book is how theology is not a separate pursuit but weaves in and out of life. Theology at its best integrates with life. And life at its best recognizes the integration of theology, even more of God at work. As Tyler writes, “In the triune God, history has meaning and direction.”
I give When Donkeys Talk 4 out of 5 stars. It took me a while to get it, but when I did the book clicked on all cylinders. It went from a 3 to a 5, and thus an average of 4. This is a great read for someone who wants to see the work of the Christian faith through the years, the wisdom of the early church fathers, the transforming teaching and even more presence of Jesus intersecting every day life.
My thanks to Zondervan and Book Sneeze for giving me a free copy to review. I wasn’t required to give a positive review, just an honest one. Thanks for a great read and a reminder of the mystery and wonder of the Christian faith throughout time and especially in these times.