Faithlife Corporation

Vyrso: Christian Ebooks

Sign in

  1. Forgot your password?

Shalom Church: The Body of Christ as Ministering Community

by Craig L. Nessan



While many manuals advise clergy and congregants on tactics for church survival or thriving, few address the deepest identity, shape, and imperatives of the church in its identity in Christ and the tradition of discipling that stems from his life, work, death, and resurrection.

As compelling as it is clear, Craig Nessan's important new work retrieves biblical metaphors of the body of Christ and, following Dietrich Bonhoeffer, sees church today as "Christ existing as community." To theological-probing Nessan then adds contextual analysis and describes the four chief imperatives that mark Christ's presence in the world today: peacemaking, justice-making, care for creation, and engagement with the other. He then unfolds the real-life implications of this paradigm of Christian community for local church structure, strategies for partnering, public witness, and interreligious engagement.


Author Information

  • Dr. Craig L. Nessan is Academic Dean and Professor of Contextual Theology at Wartburg Theological Seminary in Dubuque, Iowa. He teaches courses in the areas of contextual theology, pastoral theology, and theological ethics. He has oversight of the seminary’s internship program. Dr. Nessan has served eleven years as a parish pastor in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and Cape Girardeau, Missouri. He holds degrees from Michigan State University, Wartburg Theological Seminary, and the University of Munich. His theological interests include ecclesiology, theological ethics, liberation theology, and family systems theory. In addition to other articles, reviews, and books, Dr. Nessan is the author of Many Members, Yet One Body: Committed Same-Gender Relationships and the Mission of the Church (2004), Give Us This Day: A Lutheran Proposal for Ending World Hunger (2003), The Air I Breathe is Wartburg Air: The Legacy of William H. Weiblen (2003), Beyond Maintenance to Mission: A Theology of the Congregation (1999) and Who Is Christ for Us? (2002-edited with Renate Wind). Dr. Nessan has also drafted a resolution on “Ending Hunger as a Core Conviction,” which is available for download (click on the appropriate format link below) and use in the following formats: in Adobe PDF or in MSWord .