Lighthouse Trails Research Journal VOL. 7 | NO. 5

AN OVERLOOKED REASON FOR I KISSED DATING GOODBYE AUTHOR JOSH HARRIS’ DEPARTURE FROM THE CHRISTIAN FAITH BY LT EDITORS I I have undergone a massive shift in regard to my faith in Jesus. The popular phrase for this is ‘deconstruction,’ the biblical phrase is ‘falling away.’ By all the measurements that I have for defining a Christian, I am not a Christian. . . . to the LGBTQ+ community, I want to say that I am sorry for the views that I taught in my books and as a pastor regarding sexuality. I regret standing against marriage equality, for not affirming you and your place in the church. 1 —Josh Harris n July of this year, the Christian world was rocked when Josh Harris, the author of the highly popular book on sexual purity, I Kissed Dating Goodbye, announced he was separating from his wife, recanting his Christian faith, and apologizing to the LGBT community for his former conservative views on sexuality. The story hit the headlines of both religious and secular news sources (e.g., Christianity Today, Newsweek, CNN, Washington Post, Charisma). While many Christians are scratching their heads try- ing to figure out how this could have happened with Harris (who became a husband, father, and pastor) amid offering possible reasons for this demise of faith, there is one reason we have not heard mentioned—Josh Harris’ Calvinism. Volume 7—No. 5 BACKGROUND hen Josh Harris was 21, his book, I Kissed Dating Goodbye, was pub- lished by Multnomah Books (1996). The book hit the charts and has sold nearly a mil- lion copies. There are few evangelical Chris- tians who haven’t heard of the book; and, in particular, it was read and embraced widely by Christian homeschooling families. As Josh Harris describes in his more re- cent book Dug Down Deep: Building Your Life on Truths That Last (also published by Multnomah), in his search for spiritual depth, he went from a seeker-friendly Willow Creek-associated church to a charismatic church, but neither of these gave him what he was looking for. Fi- nally, he ended up under the mentorship of Calvinist pastor, C.J. Mahaney who planned to raise up Harris to eventually take his place as senior pastor of a large Calvinist/Reformed church (Covenant Life in Maryland). As Harris describes in his book Dug Down Deep, he plunged into extensive reading of numerous heavy- duty Calvinist/Reformed teachers, ones he thought would give him truths that would last. At the age of 30, Harris did become the senior pastor of Mahaney’s Reformed church. Harris remained pastor of Cov- enant Life for over a decade until 2015 at which time he stepped down from being pastor telling his congregation he planned Concludes on page 3 W ATONEMENT REJECTED! BY ROGER OAKLAND For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. (2 Corinthians 5:21) T he heart and core of the Christian faith is based upon Jesus Christ’s shed blood at Calvary as the only acceptable substitutionary atonement for mankind’s sins. The Gospel message requires this foundation. The Bible says the wages of sin is death—thus every person alive should re- ceive the penalty of spiritual death because none of us is without sin. Satan hates the Gospel message. He understands what the Gospel means, and his agenda is to deceive mankind from understanding and believing so they can suffer eternally with him. While Scripture is very clear about the necessity of Christ’s death in order for us to be saved, some believe this would make God a blood-thirsty barbarian and that a loving God would never send His Son to a violent death. Embedded within the structure of the emerging church is just such a belief. PRECIVILIZED BARBARITY any in the emerging, so-called progressive church movement (i.e., the “new” Christianity/New Spirituality) M Continues on page 4 SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2019