Author Archives: Philip Kershner

The Forgotten One

I have often wondered why “Thou shalt not lie” is not one of the Ten Commandments. The closest we come to it, I guess, is the commandment, “Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.” So there is a specific kind of lie which is forbidden, but there is no injunction against lying in… Continue Reading

Will the Real Me Please Stand Up

Eagleman, David.  Incognito.  Edinburgh: Cannongate Books, 2012.   When you get angry at yourself, who exactly is getting angry at whom?  If a mass shooter is found days later to have a tumor in his brain pressing on those regions of the brain involved with social behavior, does that lessen in your mind the shooter’s… Continue Reading


If you have ever played the game of Risk, which is a game of world conquest, and helplessly watched your opponent build massive forces all around your tiny little parcel of land, then you can probably begin to understand how the Jewish people felt some six centuries before Jesus as they saw what little was… Continue Reading

Is Jesus Kidding

I think the powers-that-be assigned today’s text from the 14th chapter of Luke, a difficult one to hear, to Labor Day weekend because they were hoping there wouldn’t be many people in church, anyway, to hear it. This text is a tough sell.  We don’t like what we hear.  We certainly don’t like to hear… Continue Reading

A Soft Heart

“It’s not fair!”  Have you ever heard a child cry out like that?  As a child with two sisters I was always concerned that things be fair.  They usually weren’t.  At least not from my perspective.  As a detector of unfairness I fancied myself as something of a child prodigy.  I could smell out the… Continue Reading

Out of the Box… In the Box

Bolz-Weber, Nadia. Pastrix: the Cranky, Beautiful Faith of a Sinner and Saint. New York: Jericho Books, 2013. Nadia Bolz-Weber’s remarkable career as a pastor, caring for the very ones who were closest to the heart of Jesus, is well known. I don’t need to recite it here. I can’t imagine anyone ever making the argument… Continue Reading

It Could Not Have Been Any Other Way

Hannah, Kristin. The Nightingale. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 2015. Forget the prose that flows like the Seine through Paris or soars to heights lie the Pyrenees. Forget the lessons of a terrible war which are told in countless books. Forget the love stories which are not unlike those found elsewhere. All of the above… Continue Reading

Dare to Live

Perhaps you remember Mel Gibson’s movie of a decade or so ago, “The Passion of the Christ.”  I think Mr. Gibson’s biggest mistake was in failing to realize that the passion of Jesus lay not in his death but in his life.  About a century after Jesus, the Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius said, “… it… Continue Reading