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As he completed a guided study with a professor, reading books that covered Christian culture at the turn of the century, he simultaneously began asking for public input from individuals, responding to tweets and emails from readers.
“We do learn through the agonizing journey of mistakes and heartache and pain, and I think that my impulse as a dad is to protect her from that, but I don’t think that’s realistic," Harris said.
Its massive popularity went on to directly and indirectly shape dating rules laid out by many evangelical parents, and in turn shape the relationships and habits of a generation of young evangelical readers.
Twenty years later, many 20- and 30-somethings still feel the effect of growing up inside purity culture.
They’re calling the project “The past 20 years, so much of the conversation within the church has been centered on what ‘not to do’ in relationships ...
but there aren't enough people talking about how to do dating and relationships well.
Some familiar with Harris’ first book are wary of donating to revisited project without a clear understanding of what its overall message will be.“We think we have a chance to encourage a humility and a respect — which we recognize that different people would say, ‘Well that falls so far short of where you need to be,’ but we’re trying to be realistic about where we are and who we can speak to at this point,” he said.The entire scope of the documentary is still a work in progress.“And they don’t know what it’s like to be in your late 20s or early 30s and single, and that dialogue needed to be expressed from someone that was in that position.” After discussing the documentary, Van Der Wyngaard and Harris agreed that a partnership made sense.
Van Der Wyngaard would produce and direct a documentary that followed Harris’s journey as he processed his first book and looking how the issues surrounding dating and singleness in the church have evolved over the past 20 years.
Two years ago, Harris left his position as minister of the Covenant Life Church to study theology at Regent College.