Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Clarification on Dating and Courtship


From Josh Harris @

I am often asked if I still agree with what I wrote in my first book I Kissed Dating Goodbye. The answer is that I do, but I'm quick to state that I've never claimed that the ideas I share in it are for everyone, nor that my book is or should be the final word on Christian relationships. The book is simply me at 21-years-old sharing my personal journey of learning to honor God with romance and relationships.

I also add, that while I stand by what I wrote, I don't always like the way other people represent or champion the concepts I've written about. Sadly there have been many times that people have applied its principles in a very legalistic and heavy-handed way. Some people have had my book forced on them or have been treated as though agreeing with me is the only option for Christians. If you're one of those people, I apologize. That certainly wasn't my intention when I wrote it.

I share all this to tell you about a DVD that my publisher released this year that I hope will contribute to clearing up some of the misconceptions that exist about my writing on dating and courtship. The DVD is a combination of both old and new messages that I've given on the topic.

Original Content
The original content on the DVD was produced back in 1999. It features drama, on-the-street interviews, personal testimonies, and segments of me teaching before a live audience. The focus of the messages is not "stop dating" but instead an encouragement to find your definition of love and purity from God's Word. They're a call to trust and honor God while genuinely caring for other people. The three original messages are:

Love: What is true love, and how does its power make it possible for you to enjoy lifelong, meaningful friendships?

Purity: In an age of compromise, how do we cultivate outward modesty and inward purity? What should our ultimate motivation be for living a life of purity, and why should it be a priority in your life?

Trust: Singleness is not a time for watching life go by, but a chance to develop your gifts and use this season—however long it is—to serve the Lord, while trusting God for his good timing for romance.

New Messages
The two more recent messages are on courtship and were done at my church in the past few years. The new messages gave me the chance to address some of the questions raised by my books, and some of the ways their principles have been misapplied. They are:

Courtship Shmourtship: Addresses misconceptions people have about courtship, and takes a biblical look at relationships. I speak to singles who are so concerned with "guarding each others heart" that they're not talking to one another.

Courtship: A Community Project: Looks at how godly relationships can function in the context of the local church.

These bonus messages don't have the same production quality of the first three (you're just sitting in on a Sunday meeting at our church) but we've gotten encouraging feedback on how they answer questions that my books have generated. (We refer to these two as the "bald Josh" messages. The original three messages are the "Josh with Elvis Hair" messages.)

Each of the five messages are approximately 1 hour in length. The DVD is a good resource for youth groups or singles ministries, for sparking small group discussion, as well as personal viewing. You can buy it here.

And here's a little intro we put together for the new content of the DVD:

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