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Joshua Harris offers deconstruction course for $275

by Cara Bentley

The former pastor Joshua Harris, who has since renounced his faith, is selling a course to lead others to 'reframe their story'.  

Harris is the author of I Kissed Dating Goodbye and was the lead pastor of Covenant Life Church after CJ Maheney from 2004 -2015. He announced in 2019 that he was separating from his wife and that he was no longer a believer. 

Now, he has launched a course for other believers to start 'deconstructing' their own faith - deconstruction, in the Christian sense, is the process of someone dismantling what they do and do not believe from what they have been taught in church and upbringing and rejecting what they do not hold to anymore and finding a set of beliefs that is more specific and less labelled. Some use it to refer to falling away completely. 

The 'Reframe Your Story' course markets itself to three types of people: Christians questioning their churches' cultural practises, someone who has left religion but still has 'baggage' and someone who wants to integrate the good parts of their faithful past with their new life. 

The website reads: "Join others rethinking their beliefs. Learn to make peace with your story and chart a healthy path forward. Josh Harris's signature 5-week course gives you a step-by-step process to reframe and reimagine your human journey."


The five live sessions with Harris take people through thinking about what and who have shaped their identity, what has made them have doubts about their beliefs, mourning what they have lost, thinking about what to keep and what to let go of and finally thinking about "What does it mean to be the truest version of yourself?"

Members also join an online community and he has offered a 'full scholarship' to anyone harmed by his previous books. 

It has been criticised online for being hypercritical because Harris is still trying to sell his own brand and promote himself, when he criticised celebrity pastors for their arrogance and churches asking for money. 



Harris says on the website: "For the first 40 years of my life I embraced and promoted what I now see as narrow, fear-based religion. It was all I knew and I believed it all with my whole heart. The community, identity, and security my role as a Christian pastor, husband, author, and leader gave me seemed irreplaceable. I was the best-selling author of 'I Kissed Dating Goodbye'. The pastor of a mega-church. A leader in The Gospel Coalition who spoke at national conferences. A husband with a perfect marriage. 

"Then it all fell apart. It's a long story and one I share from in the Reframe Your Story Course. But the short version is that one by one the things I found security in were taken away. From the outside this was framed as a fall from grace, backsliding, sinning. But there's a deeper story and I'm learning to reframe my own journey-as one of coming awake, finding freedom, and, for the first time, building the life I want. 

"My goal isn't to convince you or anyone else to change your beliefs-but change is inevitable. And if you're rethinking and questioning ideas and religious rules you were raised in I think this course could help you. I've learned how important it is to know you're not alone and to take the time to unpack the good and the bad of old ways of thinking as you seek to move forward. The journey to being the truest version of yourself is the most important one we make as humans. I'd love to have you join me and others as we learn together."

Deconstruction has been criticised for being self-centred and leaving people with no faith at all when separating traditional culture and what the Bible says could have been explored. 

For example, Denver Pastor Hunter Beaumont says in the book Before You Lose Your Faith: Deconstructing Doubt in the Church: "What many call 'deconstructing my faith' is actually a change of cultural locations that causes me to rethink old assumptions. When you learn to see the power of culture, you see what’s really happening: You learned Christianity in one culture. Now you’ve moved to a new culture. The first step, then, is to recognise this for what it is: tension caused by a culture shift and not necessarily by Christianity."

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