Sunday, March 6, 2016

Deep in History and Culture

Tyler Blanski wrote When Donkeys Talk and it was published by Zondervan in 2013. While Blanski followed his "Quest to Rediscover the Mystery and Wonder of Christianity" he found the Catholic Church. From Zondervan:

Tired of church as you’ve known it? Thirsty for a fresh look at Christian faith? American singer/songwriter and author Tyler Blanski was, too. So he set out on a Holy Pilgrimage to rediscover the saints, stars, and beauty of Christianity for the twenty-first century. Rich with deep application for living in the modern world, When Donkeys Talk is an invitation to become enchanted again with Christ and his world.

Tyler reminds us that God works in unexpected, unusual, and miraculous ways and that he inhabits and speaks through the wondrous world he has made. Blanski redefines “magical” to help us see that the world is guided by a hand greater than science and materialism. Using scripture, the wisdom of the church fathers, and respected theologians and Christian thinkers from centuries past, as well as a creative and humorous narrative, you will find the wonder of our ancient faith still alive and well.

From Tyler Blanski at

If I were to tell you that I had a talking donkey, you would probably chuckle and pour another drink. If I were to insist that I was entirely serious, you would probably back away slowly and, with no masked alarm, look for the nearest exit.

Nothing ruins a good party like a story about a miracle.

“It was a trick of the nerves, an illusion,” those who dared to hang around would counsel, surveying me with concerned puppy eyes. “Have you taken your medication?” I do not have a donkey, but if I did, I would want it to be a talking donkey.

So begins the book that eventually made me become Catholic, a book in which Christianity is an old-growth forest, a world crowded with angels and saints and sacraments and wild theories about how the Incarnation has comprehensive implications for the universe and for us.

We need a holy renaissance. But the path through Christendom is old and dangerous, and careful reconnoitering is necessary. This is, at least, the modest justification for the travelogue, When Donkeys Talk: A Quest to Rediscover the Mystery and Wonder of Christianity (Zondervan, 2013).

The strange thing is, it’s written by a Protestant; that is to say, I had not yet been received into the Church when I wrote it. I was somewhere in between, in a via media, and I was searching for home. Writing
When Donkeys Talk was my way of going on a “holy pilgrimage” in search of something more.

So I plunged irreversibly into the old forests Christendom. Even though I was no Saint George when it comes to fighting dragons, I hoisted a backpack of library books, tightened my grip on my proverbial donkey’s reins, and stepped portentously onto the old trail at the edge of the darkening pines. It was to be my ruining. As John Henry Cardinal Newman once said, “To be deep in history is to cease to be Protestant.”

And then, over at The Coming Home Network, Tyler describes how he and his wife Brittany read themselves into the Catholic Church, as he was preparing to be a minister in the Anglican church:

Since our wedding day, Brittany and I have been on a long journey of repentance, discovering and receiving one Catholic truth after another — the Blessed Virgin Mary, transubstantiation, purgatory, the priesthood, the papacy, conjugal openness to life, even hell. We stopped using birth control. We met with a priest. We prayed. We read every Catholic book we could get our hands on, especially the Bible. We read Karl Keating and Scott Hahn and Stephen Ray, Hans Urs von Balthasar, Vladimir Soloviev, and the Catechism.

Brittany believed before I did. She just knew — the way you just know that the sky is high and that trees are beautiful and that apples will fall — that Christ established the Church on Peter and endowed her in Christ with every spiritual blessing (Matt 16:17-19; Eph 1:3). And her faith made her flower. I was close behind.

I was simmering, just simmering, but Gerard Manley Hopkins brought me to a boil. Then G.K. Chesterton and Cardinal John Henry Newman made me sing like a teakettle. The saints, the Scriptures, the Mass, the hope of glory…I was more than wooed: God had trampled me. It was not long before deep in my heart I knew the truth of the Catholic Church, nothing less than the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Blanksi blogs here.

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