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A Church with a Rodeo

Cowboy churches raise important questions about cultural translation of the Christian faith.

My friend Dean's list of interests on his facebook profile reads as follows: "Interests: You Name It. The World Is An Interesting Place." I tend to share Dean's expansive interests, which partially explains why on a day when I could have blogged about yesterday's ruling allowing gay marriages in California, the global food crisis, continued gnashing of teeth regarding the Evangelical Manifesto, or the critical response to the latest Narnia film that opens this weekend, I'm instead drawn to this Houston Chronicle story about Lone Star Cowboy Church in Montgomery, Texas.

I'm admittedly a latecomer to the cowboy church phenomena, which was reported on in the pages of our magazine some five years ago. And upon reading that Lone Star has its own rodeo arena, which was built almost as soon as the tent church that served the congregation for the first two years, it's tempting to dismissively file the whole movement under news of the weird, as an odd bit of cultural ephemera spun out of American ...

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