Book Review: “Rescuing the Gospel from the Cowboys” by Richard Twiss

Thanks for this review J.W…gotta get this volume.

J.W. Wartick - Reconstructing Faith


Rescuing the Gospel from the Cowboys by Richard Twiss presents a broad, far-reaching analysis of the contact and sometimes conflict between Christianity and Native cultures.

Conflict is a major theme of the book, as Twiss traces the history of interactions between Western Christians and Native peoples. This history involves much wrongdoing, from wanton destruction of Native peoples through disease (which was at some points compared to the plagues on Egypt attacking the Native peoples), to continued missiology that refuses to adapt to new insights from anthropology.

A central question asked time and again through the book is why, in order to be Christian, people must give up all their cultural background and embrace a Eurocentric version of religious practice. The example often used is that of drums in worship. Many argue that this is an example of potentially dangerous syncretism–the incorporation of anti-Christian ideology into allegedly Christian worship. They…

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