I took another look at Josh Harris’s site where he gives his “updated” view on dating. I either missed these points or they were added later. Maybe his later comments on his book being used legalistically took my focus from this part.
This is what he said (I added the underlines & bolds):
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.
Now let me try and dissect this and figure out what he is saying since he was terse. I will also give my critique on what he says.
- “I’ve never claimed that the ideas I share in it are for everyone” At least now he is indicating that he doesn’t feel that is for all. Thus one shouldn’t assume that is something to apply to everyone. I am not sure that he can say he “never claimed” this. He might not have stated this but somehow certainly a number of people assumed this was for everyone and the “better” way to do things. It is good he is clarifying this now.
- “nor … the final word” He is admitting that there is more to be written about this. If people think that this is applicable to you still need to think and decide what is right in your situation.
- “ at 21 years old sharing my personal journey” This something that people should be bear in mind when thinking his big is applicable and the “preferred” or “more godly” approach.
What he writes about in his book is what worked for him at age 21 in his situation. His book was written mostly an account or testimonial of how it worked for him. It would be pretty foolish to think that what worked for him at his age and situation would necessarily work for all people. Unfortunately a lot of people have read his book and assumed it was something that should be done and work for all.
Harris does give certain “suggestions” in his book so I wouldn’t call his book just his sharing his journey. In some ways it is a quasi testimonial quasi handbook. Perhaps this is a big cause of all the confusion?