The Integrity of the Body of Christ: Boundary Keeping as Shared Responsibility

The Integrity of the Body of Christ: Boundary Keeping as Shared Responsibility

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For religious communities to have integrity and credibility they must flourish as places of love and respect. Every aspect of church life is defined and protected by essential boundaries: boundaries around space, time, thought, speech, will, emotion, and behavior--both for clergy and church members. Lack of awareness and attention to boundary keeping diminishes the integrity of the church and harms its mission, whereas insight and vigilance about best practices lend freedom and energy to the calling of the church to care for others and to reach out to the world. In a flourishing Christian community, a wide array of boundaries must be recognized, celebrated, and navigated--from the boundaries that define and protect us as individual persons to role boundaries and the boundaries that define essential communal functions, such as worship. This book is no conventional account of boundaries. It takes a comprehensive approach to the challenge of understanding and creating healthy boundaries. It applies the lessons from the emerging field of behavioral ethics to the rich and rewarding complexity of boundaries in church life, helping us to be more loving and responsible in how we think, speak, and act, so that the church can be true to its identity and mission.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781498235372
Publisher: Wipf & Stock Publishers
Publication date: 05/23/2016
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
File size: 927 KB

About the Author

Craig L. Nessan is Professor of Contextual Theology and Ethics and Academic Dean at Wartburg Theological Seminary in Dubuque, Iowa. He is the author of Beyond Maintenance to Mission (2nd ed., 2010), Shalom Church (2010), and The Vitality of Liberation Theology (Pickwick, 2012). Arden Mahlberg is a psychologist and the Director of The Integral Psychology Center in Madison, Wisconsin.

Table of Contents

Foreword Pamela Cooper-White Michael Cooper-White vii

Introduction 1

Part 1 Defining and Protecting Integrity through Boundaries

1 The Necessity of Boundaries for Creating and Sustaining Identity and Effective Mission 11

2 Entrustment 28

3 Role Integrity 45

Part 2 Integrity of Community

4 Integrity in Worship 65

5 Bearing Witness: Integrity in Interaction and Communication 77

6 Sabbath Shalom: A Day in the Kingdom 98

Part 3 Integrity of Persons

7 The Pastor as Person 123

8 Boundaries as Shared Responsibility by Church Members 141

9 Being Body of Christ with Integrity: Toward Best Practices in Boundary Keeping 163

Guide for Reflection and Discussion 197

Bibliography 207

Index of Names 215

Index of Subjects 217

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