A few years ago I moved from North Carolina to New Jersey. The culture shock was not too bad, but one of the things that made the transition worse was the prevalence of NASCAR fans in the Garden State. I thought I was escaping the redneck South only to find that racin' and rasslin' were really big among my new mid-Atlantic neighbors. The Yankees' accents may have been different from the southerners', but they loved Dale, Jeff, Rusty, and the boys all the same.

I don't care much for the sport, so at first the whole NASCAR-in-Jersey thing bothered me. But then I began to ask why the sport had broken across the Mason-Dixon and was taking over the civilized parts of the nation. My theory is that NASCAR has an inherent appeal to postmodern people. If true, then this means the church can learn a few things by paying attention to the distinctive aspects of NASCAR. I'm not saying you need to start watching the points standings or put a bunch of decals on your car, but maybe this will help you put ...

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