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The Gospel is counter-cultural enough.

We don't need to pile on additional man made rules, and then do damage to our witness and our belief about scripture, by calling these rules "biblical."

But like it or not, a lot of people and a lot of youth groups were affected by this nonsense.

And I have a sense that a lot of that thinking still lingers, but is just packaged in a different way.

People who look for formulas and plans that guaranty trouble free outcomes are not people of faith, regardless of what they may claim.

Robert Vaughn

Everybody I knew in my generation dated (folks who are about 60 right now). There were a lot of mixed outcomes. Folks in my parents' generation (folks who are about 100 right now) seem to have had a sort of mixed version of courting and dating (that is, in their community, based on stories I heard). There were mixed outcomes, but on the whole much better than my generation. I don't think it was the dating or courting per se, but a lot of other fundamentals in their generation that made the bigger difference in the outcomes.

Biblically there are various versions of getting a wife applied among God's people -- from arranged marriages (Isaac hadn't seen his wife until shortly she entered his tent) to stealing/catching a wife from another tribe (see Judges 21). We must be careful in setting only one method up as the only way to find a spouse (although I would clearly not advocate some methods). Probably a better approach that Harris's is to teach principles that people can use in dating, courting or whatever. (I do believe there is a lot wrong with dating in our society -- one of the chief I see is how early in life it is promoted. Of course, that would be possible with courting as well, if parents or authority figures were so inclined.)


The same advice about raising kids from those who only have 5 years olds with no specific education on child development. Yet big money was made from it. Frankly, even those who were educated on child development had some who did not turn out so well using their own advice.

The point is, the basics are enough when it comes to living as the kingdom, now. It does not work as well within a total inability paradigm because it is harder to teach personal responsibility when you are not in control of it. :o)

Josh Harris grew up in a narrow world of fundamentalism. They practically arranged marriages in his father's world. He was homeschooled and never attended college. He and his brothers were groomed to make a living off the tight knit homeschool world of Doug Phillips and such. He was sent as a very young man to be mentored by CJ Mahaney, of all people, to pastor. He had absolutely no real world experience or understanding. You can almost read his tortured position from his input on SGMwikileaks.

His life was literally planned out for him. Only now, in his 40's, did he strike out on his own for education and living. I assume he left SGM with enough of a legacy to pay for it.

Scott Shaver

In the world of "Christian" publishing these days, if it sells its "TRUTH"


We agree on something :)

peter lumpkins

Note: yes we may observe various means of "getting a wife" from the Old Testament narrative, one of which is the "arranged marriage," another perhaps the "courting" model. Few, if any, of the "means" we glean from the historical narrative, however, imply either a healthy, moral, or viable means for Christians today. The OT historical narrative represents the IS not necessarily the OUGHT, the WAS not necessarily the SHOULD HAVE BEEN. This is Hermeneutics 101; but unstudied, immature men like Harris (at the time of the writing) pretend they know what they're talking about. What's worse, the church not only let's them get by with it, they make them celebrity figures, anoint them as experts in the field, give them a national platform, and place them in some of the largest pulpits in the country as "Senior Pastor."


" ... we should be extremely cautious in allowing a 21 year old guy to sell us a novel message ..."

Good Lord! SBC's church planting program is populated by "lead pastors" and "elders" in their 20s-30s! The youth group is running the church with little accountability!!


Louis write "The Gospel is counter-cultural enough."

Well, the Church of the Living God used to be counter-culture to the world; it is now a sub-culture of it. While the 21st century church at large is off-track in this regard, New Calvinism is a particular lesson on being "culturally-relevant" which is running amuck. The YRR atmosphere has produced other young radicals, like Harris, who should not be lecturing us on how to do church. When will this madness end?!


"... we should be extremely cautious in allowing a 21 year old guy to sell us a novel message ..."

As I recall, there were lots of grown-ups within the New Calvinist movement who endorsed Harris' book when it came out. I wonder if they will now retract their promotion of it? Probably not. And the beat goes on.l

Scott Shaver

Agree 100 percent Pete, with one caveat:

"The church not only lets them get by with it, they make them celebrity figures."

I contend it's not the church but these charlatans and agencies and denominational entities with their various media arms and publishing houses trying to pass themselves off as "The Church."

Ain't buying the idea that they ARE what they claim TO REPRESENT.

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