No Longer Strangers - Finding Belonging in a World of Alienation
Belonging has never come easy to me.
Growing up, there was my mutated national identity to deal with-my not-quite-American, not-quite-Indonesian soul, restless in both countries. Later, when I came out as a celibate gay Christian, I found I didn't fit into the church as easily as I used to. I've often wondered what it means to belong to others even when I can't manage to blend in with them.
The way Jesus tells it, if we give up on belonging in order to follow him, we'll find ourselves belonging anyway. We might not belong the way other people do, with normal homes and normal families and normal ways of fitting in. But we'll belong in a way that's a hundred times better. We'll be fully in place because we know we are out of place. We'll belong like aliens.
Maybe you're caught in the same tension as me, wanting to fit somewhere even as you're permanently out of place. Maybe you feel like an alien.
If so, let's be aliens together.
- Paperback | 216 pages
- 140 x 215 x 15mm | 268g
- 23 Feb 2021
- InterVarsity Press
- Inter-Varsity Press,US
- Illinois, United States
Table of contents
Tentacles: An Introduction
Part One: Belonging In
1. Womb Nostalgia
2. Home Sweet Airport
3. Poohsticks in an Open Sewer
4. The Man Who Coughed Blood on Me
5. Hide and Seek
6. Dengue Days
7. How to Deal Drugs
Interlude: A Glorious Dark
Part Two: Belonging With
8. A Jedi's Training
9. Santai Sundays
10. Friendship Costs Twenty-Five Dollars an Hour
11. The Origami Artists
13. Ghosts of Friendship Past
14. Thank You for Making Me Hurt
Part Three: Belonging To
16. That Guy Who Cleaned My Microwave
17. The Art of Neighboring
18. Table for One
20. Memento Mori
21. Rivers Cannot Sweep It Away
A. J. Swoboda, author of After Doubt, assistant professor of Bible and theology at Bushnell University, Eugene, Oregon
"Simply superb. Theologically excellent. Deeply personal. Brutally honest. Intensely engaging. Coles's writing is simply exquisite. He moves from vivid description of personal experience to profound theological reflection with the ease of an exceptionally gifted writer. A must-read."
Ron Sider, distinguished professor emeritus of theology, holistic ministry, and public policy, Palmer Seminary at Eastern University, author of Rich Christians in an Age of Hunger
"When I finished reading No Longer Strangers I thought that all of my friends should read this book, because in its pages they will find a friend in Greg, hope for the church, and true belonging with Friend and Lover, Jesus Christ."
Laurie Krieg, podcaster, teacher, and coauthor of An Impossible Marriage: What Our Mixed-Orientation Marriage Has Taught Us About Love and the Gospel
About Gregory Coles