Time To Kiss New Calvinism Goodbye

Joshua Harris - author of I Kissed Dating Good Bye

By Dr. R. Scott Clark - Posted at Abounding Grace Radio:

Yet another evangelical personality has announced that not only are he and his wife separating—this after he wrote a widely-read book on dating and courtship—but he has grave doubts about the truth of Christianity and he is intent on starting a podcast to share those doubts with the world. He announced the news of his separation on Instagram, which is something one might expect a movie star to do, and then asked for privacy. Days later, an interview appeared—so much for privacy—in the theologically and socially progressive (liberal) magazine, Sojourners, in which he lamented his “fundamentalist” past and expressed doubts not only about the historic Christian sexual ethic but also about the truth of Christianity itself.

The Business Model

Harris rose to prominence within the Sovereign Grace Ministries orbit, under the umbrella of C. J. Mahaney, another prominent “New Calvinist” and former president of Sovereign Grace Ministries. Mahaney left his congregation in Maryland after a controversy over the way he handled a child-sexual abuse scandal. Harris is perhaps most famous for his 1997 book, I Kissed Dating Good Bye. Harris succeeded Mahaney as pastor of the flagship congregation of the SGM movement until he resigned to move to Vancouver, BC to attend seminary at Regent College. When he became pastor of the Maryland megachurch and when he published his widely-read and influential book on dating and courtship, he had no formal theological education. Since attending Regent he has left ministry and opened a communications consulting business.

This story is symbolic of the way entrepreneurial North American evangelicals often operate. Mahaney saw a talented young man, he plucked him from obscurity, and groomed him to become his successor. This is not how a real church operates but it is the way American evangelicals often operate. Christian, you need to learn that there is a difference. In a rightly ordered church, a real church, a historic church with a church order, with genuine accountability, with historic roots in the Reformed, medieval, and Patristic church, with a public confession to which ministers and members alike are accountable, things are done differently.


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