On the radio, popular songs declare the thrills of casual sex.
On the Internet, pop-up windows beckon Web surfers to erotic destinations.
But what happens when faith gets thrown into the mix?
How does being a Christian affect a teenager's perceptions and responses in this sex-drenched society?
Here was this young guy, only 21, preaching chastity, virtue and not kissing until you got married.
It was a supremely conservative message packaged with youthful fervor and a fedora.
Harris probably could not foresee how strongly his book would take root in evangelical culture.
Indeed, programs like True Love Waits (an international campaign launched by the Southern Baptists in 1993) have challenged millions of teens and college students to remain sexually pure until marriage.
And the Centers for Disease Control reports that the number of high school students who said they've had sex has dropped notably, from 54 percent in 1991 to 46 percent in 2001.
Jenn and I had been friends for a while now, and we’d been spending a lot of time together since the beginning of senior year—getting flirtatious, growing more intimate, and generally appearing to the outside world, and to her, as a teenage couple in love. Harris’s solution, which he expounded upon in his follow-up book, , was “courting”—which was basically the same thing as dating, except that it was chaste to the point of being a-romantic, highly supervised by the couple’s parents, and singularly focused on evaluating someone as a potential life mate.
I took a deep breath to collect my thoughts before responding; I knew this was going to be awkward. Published in 1997, IKDG caused a firestorm among mostly white, conservative, evangelical Christians, arguing that not just pre-marital sex, but any pre-marital romantic entanglement had the power to derail God’s perfect plan for your future marriage.