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In 1997 Multnomah Publishers released , a book Harris had written when he was just twenty-one years old.

In this book he tells why he rejected dating in favor of courtship, and he calls on his readers to do the same.

Harris was not interesting in re-introducing ancient models of courtship and romance as much as he wished to call couples to consider dating with purpose. It was read and discussed in youth groups around the world and caused countless teens to consider an alternative to casual dating.

The discussion his book generated was integral in shaping his generation of young Christians.

We need to learn to hold our own convictions on this matter with charity.

Most importantly we need to make sure that our convictions are shaped by scripture—not culture, church culture or my books.

Based on biblical principles of sincere love, true purity and purposeful singleness, this paperback provides an alternative to playing the dating game.

This morning I am beginning a new Sunday series called “The Bestsellers.” The Evangelical Christian Publishers Association tracks sales of Christian books, and awards the Platinum Book Award for books whose sales exceed one million, and the Diamond Book Award for sales exceeding ten million.

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Since 1997, a multitude of books have critiqued or affirmed Harris’ approach, while others have nuanced it, often teaching similar principles but without the use of the controversial word “courtship.” Courtship has continued to be a hot-button issue, especially in very conservative Christian circles.

However, he also explained how his book had proven divisive in some contexts: I’ve also seen that a legalistic application of these ideas can be unhelpful, too.

One of my main concerns in my church or any other church is that there be no disunity among Christians over issues of dating and courtship.

As that generation has grown up and matured, some now commend and some now condemn the book.

Where many followed the book’s counsel and avoided the relational difficulties and baggage that so often come hand-in-hand with casual dating, others insist it led to confusion and anxiety when it came to forming relationships and finding a marriage partner.