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‘Cowboy and Preacher’ documentary: Blending environmental responsibility and Christianity

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Cowboy and Preacher: The Life and Times of Tri Robinson, a documentary about an evangelical pastor from Idaho who is also a life-long environmentalist, is slated to be released publicly on Sept. 15.

Not only will the film be available on DVD and VOD on all major platforms, Director Will Fraser and film subject Pastor Tri Robinson will participate in a special live online event the day of release. This virtual round-table discussion will also feature prominent leaders in conservative Christianity as well as environmental and creation-care communities, and allow viewers to participate in a Q&A.

Robinson has battled throughout his life to try to get many people of faith to realize that being a conservative Christian and an environmentalist are not mutually exclusive. The filmmaker argues that most environmental films seem to be framed for a liberal audience — i.e. they preach to the converted. Cowboy and Preacher aims at the unconverted, the Christians who may not take creation-care seriously.

According to the film’s press release, “The film also offers liberals and non-Christians a fascinating portrayal of conservative evangelical life, values, and mindset. In an election year during a pandemic, the film is exceptionally timely. Not only is the destruction of the environment one of the most important issue facings all people, but many American politicians and voters seem to be in denial about it. In the film we see Tri’s efforts to create a green conservative church and unite this idea with his life as a rancher, all while developing a Christian system of ideas that unites environmentalism with moral development and action.”

For those who may not be familiar with Robinson, he made the decision to enter the ministry full time after a life-changing experience in 1980 while working among the Karen Hill Tribe people on the border of Burma and Thailand. Robinson and his wife, Nancy, served for eight years as associate pastors for the Desert Vineyard in Lancaster, California. In 1989, they moved to Idaho to establish and build the Vineyard Christian Fellowship of Boise. Over the next 25 years Vineyard Boise grew into a strong outreaching church with a membership of about 3,000 people.

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