Rescuing the Gospel from the Cowboys: A Native American Expression of the Jesus Way

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5.9 X 8.9 X 0.8 inches | 0.85 pounds

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About the Author

Richard Twiss (Taoyate Ob Najin, "He Stands with His People," 1954-2013), was the founder of Wiconi International. A Sicangu Lakota, he was a cofounder of NAIITS (North American Institute for Indigenous Theological Studies) and a cofounder of Evangelicals for Justice. He earned a doctorate in missiology from Asbury Theological Seminary and was the author of One Church, Many Tribes. He is survived by his wife, Katherine, and his sons and grandsons.

"Although Rescuing the Gospel from the Cowboys is primarily written for a Native audience, Christians of all ethnicities ignore books like this at our own peril. Twiss and other Indigenous theologians are important prophetic voices to Christianity in America. The integrity of the Church--as well as the effectiveness of our participation in God's mission of reconciliation and redemption--is severely diminished by ignoring the theological contributions of our Native brothers and sisters."--James Stambaugh, The Englewood Review of Books, Summer 2015
"In Rescuing the Gospel from the Cowboys, Dr. Richard Twiss is articulate as usual. He has an assertive and yet gracious ability to help non-Natives change their minds about Indigenous issues. I'm grateful for Richard's strong voice that is still resounding among us for our Indigenous people."--Cheryl Bear Barnetson, Nadleh Whut'en First Nation, BC, Canada
"An eye-opening viewpoint from witnesses too seldom heard, this volume should be salutary for many pastors and administrative leaders."--Library Journal, July 2015
"The late theologian Richard Twiss (1954-2013) makes a powerful case that Native American Christians can pursue their faith 'while still fully embracing (their) tribal identity, traditional customs, cultural forms, worldview and rituals.' . . . Twiss's book offers valuable lessons for those struggling with decolonization in a religious context or any other. . . . Recommended. Upper-division undergraduates through faculty and professionals."--W. F. Schulz, CHOICE, November 2015
"This is an important book for non-Natives. We can and must learn the Native story, as we did that day sitting between Luther and Wesley at Gary Church. But we need to walk further by going into Indigenous communities, waiting humbly to be welcomed into their circle and story. The way to learn and restore a shattered relationship is by deep listening as we sit among Richard's oyate, his people. And at that moment a realization will dawn on us; we all are deeply embodied in the story. As Richard said at the end of each address, Mitakuye Oyasin, 'All my relatives.' This is our common story, but we hardly recognize it."--Gene L. Green, Books Culture, November/December 2015
"I highly recommend this book as seminal in our thinking about how Christianity is transmitted to others."--Michael Canning, Anglican and Episcopal History, March 2019
"Richard Twiss's Rescuing the Gospel from the Cowboys provokes and challenges while leading readers into a Native American understanding of the 'Jesus Way.' The reader is confronted directly with racism, oppression and pain in Twiss's own personal narrative as he sought to express a contextualized indigenous Christian theology that extended far beyond the limitations of 'white man's religion.' This indigenous account of decolonization of the gospel presents profound truths about the person of Christ and significant historical lessons from indigenous believers."--Mae Elise Cannon, author of Just Spirituality: How Faith Practices Fuel Social Action, Social Justice Handbook: Small Steps for a Better World, and coauthor of Forgive Us: Confessions of a Compromised Faith
"Christians and ministry leaders, both Native and non-Native alike, will find Rescuing the Gospel from the Cowboys a relevant text. . . . Twiss calls us to seek dialogue over judgment and control by pursuing authentic worship. If we are Christians committed to corporate enactment of the story of God in worship, then we must be open to relating that story in ways that bring the fullness of who we are to God and to one another. Richard Twiss was also called Taoyate Obnajin, 'He Stands with His People.' In this good work, he has lived into his name."--Alexandria Macias, Covenant Quarterly, Vol. 75, No. 1, 2017
"This is a provocative, engaging book. It brought me to tears. It challenged many of my assumptions. I did not agree with every jot and tittle of Richard's approach to contextualization, but this is a book every thoughtful Christian should read. Pastors, missionaries, and educators in particular need to chew on the issues Richard raises about contextualizing the gospel in light of the many cultures and peoples in the world, not least those who have been condemned and silenced and forced to 'unbecome' themselves, whether under the authority cowboys or others."--Nijay Gupta, Missio Alliance, August 28, 2015
"The late Richard Twiss here offers both a powerful and dangerous gift to the church. For anyone who has wondered why so few Native Americans follow Jesus, this work reminds us how painful our history is when missionary efforts are wedded to colonization. Be prepared to have your assumptions challenged as you work through this important book chronicling the church's oft tense relationship to indigenous people."--Andrew Dragos, The Seedbed Blog, December 8, 2015
"Having sat at the feet of Richard Twiss, known the warmth of his friendship and grieved his passing, I was thrilled to learn of this volume we now hold. Rescuing the Gospel from the Cowboys is a significant book for all who seek to live in the way of Jesus. Speaking honestly and respectfully in the face of oppression and violence perpetrated in the name of the good news, Twiss invites fresh and real ways of following in the way of Jesus without preference to any one cultural frame, and therefore opens the way to be who you are, as a particular person, of a particular culture, and to do so in the shambolic way of the Creator. This book accomplishes a vital task that should be self-evident: a person can be fully Lakota and fully Christian--in fact, there is no other way to be fully Christian. Twiss throws open the door for all indigenous churches to wrestle afresh with the fact that the gospel is at home in every culture and simultaneously alien to every culture."--Dwight J. Friesen, associate professor of practical theology at the Seattle School of Theology Psychology, coauthor of The New Parish and author of Thy Kingdom Connected