This command I entrust to you, Timothy, my son, in accordance with the prophecies previously made concerning you, that by them you fight the good fight, keeping faith and a good conscience, which some have rejected and suffered shipwreck in regard to their faith. 1 Timothy 1:18-19
The oldest of seven children from a prominent evangelical Christian homeschooling family, Josh Harris became the face of the “purity culture” movement after writing the book I Kissed Dating Goodbye in 1997 when he was 22 years old. In the book, Harris advocated for “courtship”—entering into a relationship with the intention of marriage—rather than date-and-break up scenario that often includes pre-marital sex. The book sold 1.2 million copies.
Harris married in 1998, fathered three children, authored several more books, led a singles conference, and became the pastor of Covenant Life Church, the Maryland church founded by well-known pastor CJ Mahaney of Sovereign Grace Ministries.
In 2016 after resigning as pastor to undertake theological training at Regent College in Vancouver, Harris announced that he was reconsidering some of the content of his bestselling book based in part on negative feedback from readers. By 2018, he had disavowed the book, requesting that the publisher stop printing it.
Just recently in July 2019, Harris shocked the evangelical community by announcing that he and his wife were divorcing. But an even bigger shock came days later when Harris wrote in an Instagram post, “By all the measurements that I have for defining a Christian, I am not a Christian.”
This weekend on The Christian Worldview, we will examine this tragic story and try to understand biblically why a prominent professing Christian influencer walks away from Christ.