Josh Harris is strongly associated with “purity culture.” The phrase “purity culture” is generally used derisively. But the Bible teaches purity. Christians should pursue purity.
That said, it’s fair to say that the “courtship only” school establishes a set of extrabiblical requirements which can prove helpful in some instances, but stiflingly restrictive in other situations. How you pursue a possible spouse depends on your circumstances. Though God’s standards remain timeless (e.g., I Thess. 4:3-8), there is no one right method. It’s one thing if you’re 18 years old, living with your parents, in a large church with many like-minded Christian families, where you plan to be for the next 5-10 years. It’s another think if you’re 26, single, and 500 miles from Mom and Dad.
Nevertheless, Josh Harris’s first two books had some helpful correctives to the recreational dating scene that many Christians take for granted–and in which some operate selfishly and destructively. Josh later joined Sovereign Grace Ministries (SGM), which has come under heavy fire for how its leadership handled sexual abuse cases and how they exercised their authority in general. In my estimation, the concerns with SGM are justified, but that’s a whole different topic.
The sad news is that Josh and his wife are getting divorced. What’s even more troubling is that it appears Josh has abandoned biblical Christianity. May GOD intervene mightily in this very troubling situation.