On Saying You’re Wrong in Public

April 30, 2023

It was a privilege to sit down for a chat with the folks over at the Centre for Christian Civics some time ago. I recorded this before my own experience of rethinking faith, but I still find it helpful. I am struck by the thoughtfulness with which Rick Barry approached our exchange. I appreciate his willingness to engage me on a topic he’s been consistently passionate about: the importance of admitting when we might be wrong. 

In our conversation we cover a lot of ground. Some highlights include my sharing about:

  • Receiving 600 letters from all over the map providing feedback about the impact that my book had on their lives. 
  • What prompted my decision to reevaluate the publication of my book “I Kissed Dating Goodbye”
  • The fear I experienced in anticipation of starting this project and my ultimate decision to discontinue publishing the book. 
  • The role that assumptions and defensiveness plays in all of our lives. 
  • The process of admitting when you are wrong and seeking to live a life marked by healing.
  • What it means to go through hard conversations in public as a  Christian.
  • The origins of the “I Survived I Kissed Dating Goodbye” documentary.

“I always believed that there was this group of people who understood the value of Christians being willing to re-evaluate, being willing to admit that they’re wrong.”

Key quote: 

“A big thing that I keep coming back to if the whole basis of our relationship with God is repentance and faith, the only way into a relationship with God is admitting that you’re wrong, Evangelical Christians should be the best at admitting their mistakes and failures if we really believe that God is a God of grace and that our relationship with him has never been based in our rightness or worthiness, then we should be known for being people who are remorseful over our sins and our failures, and we should be known for people who admit that we are wrong, and for whatever reason it’s the exact opposite, that we’re the people who are known for just telling everybody else that they’re wrong, and I think that’s why the secular puncture just jumps all over us when we make mistakes, because we act as if we don’t, and I think that’s to our damage.”

To hear the rest of this interview, go anywhere podcasts are hosted. You can access the show notes to this particular episode here: Joshua Harris on Saying You’re Wrong in Public — Center for Christian Civics