Single, Gay, Christian: A Personal Journey of Faith and Sexual Identity
Foreword INDIES Award Finalist
IVP Readers' Choice Award
In an age where neither society nor the church knows what to do with gay Christians, Greg Coles tells his own story.
Let's make a deal, you and me. Let's make promises to each other.
I promise to tell you my story. The whole story. I'll tell you about a boy in love with Jesus who, at the fateful onset of puberty, realized his sexual attractions were persistently and exclusively for other guys. I'll tell you how I lay on my bed in the middle of the night and whispered to myself the words I've whispered a thousand times since:
I'll show you the world through my eyes. I'll tell you what it's like to belong nowhere. To know that much of my Christian family will forever consider me unnatural, dangerous, because of something that feels as involuntary as my eye color. And to know that much of the LGBTQ community that shares my experience as a sexual minority will disagree with the way I've chosen to interpret the call of Jesus, believing I've bought into a tragic, archaic ritual of self-hatred.
But I promise my story won't all be sadness and loneliness and struggle. I'll tell you good things too, hopeful things, funny things, like the time I accidentally came out to my best friend during his bachelor party. I'll tell you what it felt like the first time someone looked me in the eyes and said, "You are not a mistake." I'll tell you that joy and sorrow are not opposites, that my life has never been more beautiful than when it was most brokenhearted.
If you'll listen, I promise I'll tell you everything, and you can decide for yourself what you want to believe about me.
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About the Author
Gregory Coles is a coauthor of Jim Henson's "The Dark Crystal" Author Quest, a collection of short stories. Greg spent fifteen years growing up in the Muslim neighborhoods of Southeast Asia. Today he is a PhD student, part-time English instructor at Penn State University, and worship leader in his church.
"Single, Gay, Christian is a great read for anybody, but especially those interested in questions of marriage, sexuality, and relationships in general in the context of the church. Coles is thoughtful, intelligent and thorough in his treatment of an important subject."--Jake Raabe, the Baptist Standard, May 11, 2017
"Coles's work will raise questions for those involved in the debates about Christianity and sexuality because it pushes for a third way between discarding tradition and ignoring identity."--Publishers Weekly, June 12, 2017
"Coles has told an engaging, humble, grounded story that pushes us to develop a workable theology of singleness while thinking rigorously about better ways to love and respect gay people--inside and outside the church."--Tyler Streckert, Christianity Today, October 6, 2017
"I would recommend this book to every pastor, to every parent who has a child who has 'come out' or is thinking about it, and to every believer in Christ who wishes to minister in a more loving and understanding manner to those in the LBGTQ community."--Douglas C. Bozung, The Journal of Ministry & Theology, Spring 2018