cover image Single, Gay, Christian: A Personal Journey of Faith and Sexual Identity

Single, Gay, Christian: A Personal Journey of Faith and Sexual Identity

Gregory Coles. IVP, $15 trade paper (144p) ISBN 978-0-8308-4512-5

Coles uses his personal experiences to reflect on what it means to be both a committed evangelical Christian and gay. Although he leaves his theology vague, he concludes that based on his own reading, the Bible doesn’t offer any room for same-sex relationships. Yet he also does not support conversion therapy. Instead, he claims the identity of gay celibate. Hence, his book is one of the few that expresses the hopes, challenges, and concerns of a new generation of sexually self-denying gay Christians. His best insights are too-briefly presented but include the notion that celibacy reminds other Christians that discipleship should be costly and the assertion that the Fall has distorted all sexuality, not just homosexuality. He also convincingly argues that being gay allows him to view women as more than sexual objects and fellow men as worthy of love. Coles offers only vague details of his own life and he universally characterizes the interactions he has with fellow Christians after he comes out as positive. As a result, his book seems a little too rosy for such a thorny position. 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. (Aug.)