Touch Podcast Episode 13: Kissing Something Goodbye with Joshua Harris and Jessica Van Der WynGaard
Touch Podcast Episode 13 is hosted by Ryan Clark and Nathan Novero. We’ll be “Kissing Something Goodbye” with Joshua Harris And Jesica Van Der WynGaard in this two-part series. We speak with them about their upcoming documentary titled, “I Survived I Kissed Dating Goodbye” that chronicles the journey of best-selling Christian author Josh Harris and his breakout book, “I Kissed Dating Goodbye,” where at age 21, he invited young people to stop dating, stop physical contact and court their future mate, even saving their first kiss for the wedding day.
Aussie documentary filmmaker Jesica Van Der WynGaard talks about how the two met and describes how she directs and produces a film where Josh reconsiders some of the things he wrote 20 years ago. Jesica talks about what its like to be a single 30-something Christian in light of the book’s expectations. Josh talks about going to seminary and being confronted by his new peers about his book’s teachings.
On the show Josh gives examples of the kinds of things he’s confronted over, including making harder to relate socially to the opposite sex and the pressure many felt to become serious in their relationship so soon. “My book gave a sense of promise if you do this a certain way then God will give you His best. And it doesn’t work that way for everyone.” Says Josh.
Jesica courageously explains the struggle many Christian singles have who want to love God and stay in Christian community. She wonders aloud if there a place in church for single people who want to express their honesty about desiring sexual intimacy. Jesica talks about a questions she’s asked herself, “Do I belong here? Should I even be around [church]?” These questions point to a reality many would-be church goers face: A propensity to model a certain community ideal, which is made up of married couples with children.
Jesica hopes her film can be part of a conversation that answers some of these questions.
The beautiful music on episode 13 was written, composed and produced by Carter Harrell, a Nashville artist. His track “Broken Love” can be heard in its entirety at the end of this episode.
Joshua Harris wrote I Kissed Dating Goodbye at 19, and saw it published as a surprise success by 21. Married at 23, multiply-published, and leading a church in Maryland while raising a family in the years that followed, Josh now finds himself, at 42, a student in seminary, and a father of teenagers who will soon approach the issues of relationships themselves. Now in the posture of a learner challenged to think critically, listen, ask questions, and seek deeper understanding, Josh is embracing the opportunity to re-examine his signature work and engage its readers — both fans and critics — in a thoughtful analysis.
Jessica Van Der Wyngaard is an Aussie filmmaker and grad student living in Vancouver, B.C., where she is completing her MA in Theological Studies at Regent College. As it happens, author-speaker Joshua Harris is also pursuing a seminary degree at Regent. What started as a group conversation after the completion of a school film project has now led to collaboration on a new documentary to explore the layered and far-from-simple issues of singleness, sexuality, marriage, and more, some 20 years after I Kissed Dating Goodbye first impacted relationships for a generation of Christians. Jessica is a survivor of I Kissed Dating Goodbye.