I received a copy of Max Dubinsky’s latest book An Anthology of Madness through Story Cartel because I had previously reviewed Dislocated. As I noted in that review, Dislocated is not the typical type of book that I would pick up but I liked it and said that I would look forward to reading more from Dubinsky.
So I was glad when I received the email about the opportunity to review An Anthology of Madness. In exchange for the review I received an e-version for my Kindle.
An Anthology of Madness is a totally different experience. Dubinsky puts together a collection of journals, essays and poems as he relates stories of his search for God, his loss of faith, his abandonment of the church along with addition and homelessness.
And, while my journey has been different, and while I’m many years his senior, much of this book resonates.
He had me early on when he wrote,
“The God I read about in the Bible was not the God I heard about in church. I’d grown tired of watching well-dressed Christians with a heart for acting in Hollywood serve other well-dressed Christians every Sunday while men and women wrapped in blankets dug through our discarded coffee cups piled high inside the trashcans out front looking for plastic to recycle and cigarette butts to smoke.”
Ouch. Is that the church of today? Not everywhere of course, but is it more the norm than not? Do we put more emphasis, as Dubinsky says, on a nine-million dollar church complex complete with multiple screens and fancy power point presentations than we do the starving and homeless just a few blocks away?
I may disagree with Dubinsky over whether there’s anything inherently wrong with big buildings and projection screens. But when they’re the focus and not the world around us, then there is indeed something wrong.
The book is not all about Dubinsky’s dissatisfaction with the church, but it’s his walk through life. Much of it not pretty. He is brutally honest and his words are thought provoking.
Read the book, especially if you’ve spent a lifetime in church. There aren’t easy answers to the questions he raises. But they’re questions that need to be asked.