Dr. Gregory Coles is writer, speaker, and academic researcher who has done important work in the field of rhetorics of marginality, focusing on the impact of language on marginalized groups. He is part of the collaborative leadership team at the The Center for Faith, Sexuality & Gender and the author of several books, including Single, Gay, Christian: A Personal Journey of Faith and Sexual Identity and his latest, No Longer Strangers: Finding Belonging in a World of Alienation. When he isn’t writing or speaking, Greg can usually be found playing piano at a local church, dabbling in songwriting, jogging, or baking homemade granola.
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Key Questions for Dr. Gregory Coles
-What advice would you give to young people experiencing attraction to the same sex or wrestling with their gender identity?
-How has the church been most loving toward you in your journey, and what are areas the church could grow in?
-Can you help us to better understand some of the terminology related to the LGBTQ conversation?
-Some Christians think that using a trans person’s preferred name and pronouns is loving them well, but others believe this is tantamount to lying. What advice would you give to people in this area?
Key Quotes from Dr. Gregory Coles
“There is something tremendously important I think about the way in which we as human beings are created to experience the love of God through other people.”
“It’s much more important to make the following of Jesus the primary thing than to insist to yourself, ‘Here’s how I want this story to end.’”
“I think marriage is beautiful in a very distinctive kind of way, but to suggest that the only way to reach the best and truest form of human love that you can get to on earth is to be married is dangerous I think.”
“Especially in western twenty-first century evangelicalism, there’s a tendency for us to not think of taking up one’s cross as a particularly weighty task.”
“If it’s really Jesus that we’re following, then it needs to be true that the story that we tell about our lives is one in which we’re making radical kinds of choices that only make sense through the lens of Jesus.”
“It’s impossible for me to tell the story of why singleness can be beautiful without talking about who Jesus is.”
“It’s beautiful and encouraging when folks are able to recognize the way in which my experience of sexuality can create a kind of a complicated relationship with Christian spaces and with the world at large. Because there are many people in both of those camps who would find my story something objectionable and throw proverbial grenades at me accordingly.”
“To have your soul constantly be in self-defense mode, to constantly be trying to convince other people that you do in fact love Jesus, is sort of an unconstructive space because it takes away energy that would be better invested in actually loving Jesus.”