IVP - Strangely Dim - A Fortnight of Donkey Tales

September 22, 2008

A Fortnight of Donkey Tales

It's long been a dream of mine--ever since the launch of Likewise Books, actually--to compile a set of readings based on Bible passages that feature donkeys. The donkey has quite literally become an icon of the Likewise line, with authors and readers and employees alike trying to draw meaning from it, to identify themselves in it. It makes sense, therefore, that readings of donkey adventures in Scripture from a particularly Likewise-y angle would profit many.

Sadly, to date only Lisa has shared my vision. And then it occurred to me that Lisa and I share this vision, and we share this bully pulpit called Strangely Dim. It makes sense, therefore, that we do whatever we want, not the least of which being to write scads of meditations having to do with donkeys.

Especially since the Bible is filled with scads of stories having to do with donkeys. My exhaustive concordance lists a column and a half of verses that include some variant of donkey, and the word ass adds another half-column (not to mention a veritable parthenon of giggles). This is a devotional that demands to be written.

Which leads us to this, the latest in our intermittent series of themed fortnights. To date we've celebrated a fortnight of odes and a fortnight of cliches, each of which was stimulating creatively for us and, we imagine at least, entertaining for our audience of dozens. Now we hope to branch out into edification--or sanctitainment, if I may coin a term.

So steel yourselves as we make a--ahem, I mean fools--of ourselves poring over the Bible in search of donkeys with truth to share. Some stories, inevitably, will be so familiar as to sit comfortably alongside the archives to our fortnight of cliches. But some, we hope, will catch all of us off guard and, I daresay, lead us to go and do in ways we hadn't considered before.

If you'd like to try your hand, feel free to contact us by e-mail; we'd be happy to let you join in the fun. In the meantime, here's the line description that accompanies each Likewise book to the printer, just to warm us up:

A man comes across an ancient enemy, beaten and left for dead. He lifts the wounded man onto the back of a donkey and takes him to an inn to tend to the man's recovery. Jesus tells this story and instructs those who are listening to "go and do likewise."


Likewise books explore a compassionate, active faith lived out in real time. When we're skeptical about the status quo, Likewise books challenge us to create culture responsibly. When we're confused about who we are and what we're supposed to be doing, Likewise books help us listen for God's voice. When we're discouraged by the troubled world we've inherited, Likewise books help us hold onto hope.


In this life we will face challenges that demand our response. Likewise books face those challenges with us so we can act on faith.

Posted by Dave Zimmerman at September 22, 2008 6:07 AM Bookmark and Share

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Behind the Strangeness

Lisa Rieck is a reader and writer who likes to discuss good ideas over hot drinks and gets inspired by the sky. She takes in all kinds of good ideas as a proofreader for InterVarsity Press.

Rebecca Larson is a writer/designer/creative type who has infiltrated IVP's web department, where she writes and edits online content. She enjoys a good pun and loves the smell of freshly printed books.

David A. Zimmerman is an editor for Likewise Books and a columnist for Burnside Writers Collective. He's written three books, most recently The Parable of the Unexpected Guest. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/unexpguest. Find his personal blog at loud-time.com.

Suanne Camfield is a publicist for InterVarsity Press and a freelance writer. She floats ungracefully between work, parenting and writing, and (much to her dismay) finds it impossible to read on a treadmill. She is a member of the Redbud Writers Guild and blogs at The Rough Cut.

Likewise Books from InterVarsity Press explore a thoughtful, active faith lived out in real time in the midst of an emerging culture.

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