A “system” is a process with its distinct yet interrelated parts. Interlocking systems (nervous, skeletal, respiratory) make up the one human body. The human body is itself a sort of system of systems.
The Bible uses systems imagery when it describes the body in Romans 12: “For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.” In a healthy body, all the systems do their part and work together as one toward balance and health. As Peter L. Steinke says in Healthy Congregations: A Systems Approach, “Health is a continuous process, the ongoing interplay a of multiple forces and conditions.” One thinks of the biblical notion of shalom, where health, wholeness, peace, and justice are all present.
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