I’m trying to go back and really evaluate, you know, where did my book contribute to that? And where was that me and what I was writing, and where was that – the families and the church cultures and so on?So I feel like I’m on the front end of a process to help people in some way if I can apologize where needed and re-evaluate where needed. I mean, “the consequences of the way people applied the book,” is Harris freaking serious with this? The problem was not that his book was any time you feel sexually attracted to someone that is not your lawfully married spouse. And then there was the story about the woman who dreamed that on her wedding day, all of her former boyfriends came up to the front and told her groom that she had given each of them a piece of her heart, and that now he would never have her whole heart? This is about his book and his teachings creating so many problems for young evangelicals that even the extremely conservative evangelical World Magazine took note and published an article expressing concern that Harris’s book had created a culture in which it was almost impossible for evangelical young people to find mates.Now, for the first time since its release, the national #1 bestseller has been expanded with new content and updated for new readers. Honest and practical, it challenges cultural assumptions about relationships and provides solid, biblical alternatives to society's norm. Way to make people scared to ever look at anyone in public ever again! Can we pause and remember that, in his book, he includes a story in which a boyfriend stops by his girlfriend’s home to pick her up, and sends her back into her house to change her clothes because he finds them too sexy? I didn’t dream that story, and yes, again, it was framed positively. Yes, MARTIN: As you have gone back through the book, where have you changed your mind?He also wrote that masturbation was sin, period, even in marriage, because sexual pleasure was always and only ever meant to be mutual, between spouses. And it scared the shit out of me and thousands of other evangelical girls. HARRIS: Honestly, I haven’t engaged that process of reading through the whole book and saying, this is what I think about all these different areas. But I think one of the things that I’m changing in my own thinking is I just think people – myself included – it’s so easy to latch on to a formula. You’ll be safe and you’ll be protected and you’ll be whatever. I don’t think that’s the way the life of faith works.I d o n o t b e l i e v e t h a t d a t i n g i s s i n f u l .S o m e p e o p l e h a v e s i n n e d a s a r e s u l t o f d a t i n g , b u t I d o n ' t t h i n k a n y o n e c a n a c c u r a t e l y s a y t h a t d a t i n g i n a n d o f i t s e l f i s a s i n f u l a c t i v i t y .
After reading his apology two months ago to several bloggers who have, like me, spent years blogging against the problems caused by the purity teachings promoted by Harris and others, I started listening with some optimism.
I think one area I am seeing is that – where my book was used as a rule book to say this is the only way to do it. And so when we try to overly control our own lives or overly control other people’s lives, I think we end up harming people.
Joshua Harris shares his story of giving up dating and discovering that God has something even better- a life of sincere love, true purity, and purposeful singleness.
And I think it’s taken time for the consequences of the way that people applied the book and the way the book affected people to play out.
And so I’m hearing these different voices saying, here’s how your book was used against me, here’s how it was forced on me, or here’s how I tried to – no one forced it on me, but I tried to apply it and it had this negative consequence in different ways.