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Seeking, serving and sharing Christ
in faithfulness, love and unity
Paul Head and Shoulders.jpg
For me to live is CHRIST and to die is gain Philippians 1 v21

My life isn’t really about me (or at least I don't want it to be!) 


As my life verse, quoted above, says, it’s all about Jesus.  The truth of the gospel of God's grace in Jesus Christ inspires and informs every aspect of my life the Holy Spirit works in me to transform me into His likeness.  


On this page you can read a little of my story, see details of my experience and qualifications, and read a summary of the core biblical truths I believe in and the values I hope guide my service for God. To find out about my ministry, my books and other resources, see the relavant pages on this site.

Current ministry involvements

Main ministry - Living Leadership (Head of Ministry Operations)

Developing a network of trainers of leaders and pastors of pastors across the UK and Ireland who seek to help Christian leaders live joyfully in Christ and serve him faithfully by providing training, support (mentoring and pastoral care) and resources.​

Secondary ministry - Centre for Christianity in Society (Executive Director)

I am a trustee of this Christian charity and give a lead to its work connecting Christ with contemporary culture writing articles, speaking in churches, commenting to the media and training in apologetics, ethics and faithfulness in the workplace.

Academic theological work

Other ministry involvements

My story
My story

I was born in 1970s Northern Ireland to Brian and Sylvia Coulter.  I first heard the gospel from them and learned the Bible from many others and my faith grew as I got older despite, or perhaps because of, challenges and questions.  I continue to find the ability of the gospel to diagnose the problems of my heart and to revolutionise my thinking compelling.  I've had some tough experiences in life, including intense suffering with a chonric illness that changed me profoundly, but God has been faithful through them all.  I am captivated by the beautiful character of Jesus Christ, His revelation of the grace and truth of God, and His death for my sins and resurrection in victory over death.  I suppose a lifetime is too short to fathom the depths of the realisation that the Son of God loved me and gave Himself for me (Galatians 2 v20).

While I was a studying medicine in Belfast I met Gar-Ling, a Chinese Malaysian girl who shared my Christian faith.  We were married in 2002 and Gar-Ling has since been my truest friend, encourager, advisor and partner.  Since then I have worked in medicine, in cross-cultural pastoral ministry, as a member of a staff team with a large church responsible for youth and equipping ministries, as a lecturer in practical theology, and, finally, as a mentor, trainer and manager in a Christian charity.  That might sound like a lot of changes, but I can see how the Lord has been shaping me through each experience into the person I am now and I am looking forward to what He still has in store.


Gar-Ling and I live in Lisburn city, Northern Ireland and have two fantastic children, Joseph Cheng-Wen and Hannah Cheng-Mei who fill our lives with joyful discoveries.  For recreation I enjoy reading popular history and science, watching historical dramas, listening to podcasts, walking and cycling. 

Past ministry / work experience
Academic Qualifications
Experience and qualifications
  • 2017 - Post-Graduate Certificate in Higher Education Teaching (PGCHET), Queen's University Belfast

  • 2016 - Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Divinity, Aberdeen University

  • 2007 - Master of Arts (MA) in Theology, with distinction, University of Wales

  • 2000 - Medical degrees (MB, BCh, BAO), with distinction, Queen's University Belfast

  • 1997 - Bachelor of Science (BSc) in Medical Genetics, with first class honours, Queen's University Belfast


I aim to serve God shaped by  three commitments:​

  • Faithfulness - to glorify Christ in every opportunity He gives and to be true to the divinely inspired Scriptures.​

  • Love - to serve others sincerely with the love Christ has shown me so I convey grace as well as truth.​

  • Unity - to promote unity under Christ's Lordship, in the gospel by the Spirit’s power.

Core beliefs
Core beliefs

I subscribe to the core historic beliefs of the Christian faith derived from Scripture and summarised in statements like the Niceno-Constantinopolitan Creed and the Statement of Faith of the World Evangelical Alliance. My own summary of these beliefs follows:

  • God, three in one, Father, Son, and Spirit, eternally existent creator of all, sovereign over all, and ultimate restorer of all things, vglorious in truth and holiness, love and faithfulness.

  • Human beings, descended from Adam, created male and female in God’s image and loved by God, but fallen in sin, facing God's wrath and justice, deserving condemnation to death and the punishment of Hell, and hopeless without God's salvation.

  • Holy Scripture, the 66 books of the Old and New Testaments, God’s self-revelation breathed out and recorded by people in words as the Spirit guided them through which God rules and guides God's people, entirely true and trustworthy and authoritative for our beliefs and behaviour.

  • Jesus Christ, born of the virgin Mary, the fulfilment of  God's promises to Abraham, fully human and fully God, lived a sinless life, was crucified for our sins, rose from the dead in a glorified body, ascended to His Father's side, where He is enthroned as Lord over all, and will return again in glory to judge the living and the dead.

  • Salvation, God’s gracious gift to human beings of forgiveness of sins, deliverance from death, inclusion among God's people, the empowerment for a transformed life, and participation in God's glorious future on the sole basis of Christ’s atoning death as our substitute, bearing God's wrath in our place, received through faith alone.

  • The Holy Spirit, fully God, sent to regenerate all who trust in Christ and to make a permanent home in their lives, to form them into one people of God, to equip and empower them to do God's work and serve together in for God’s mission in the world, and to produce Christ-like character in them individually and corporately.

  • The Church, the body of Christ, one in the Spirit and called to grow towards Christ-like unity in the faith entrusted to all God's people by Christ's apostles who are its foundation, to continue Jesus’ mission of demonstrating and declaring the good news of God’s rule made present in Jesus Christ, and to be the present manifestation of the new creation in which God's people will live eternally.

I also find the five classic solae of the Reformation a powerful summary of the most important theological principles:

  • Solus Christus (Christ alone) - the Lord Jesus Christ is the perfect revelation of God, the only Saviour for sinful human beings and Lord over all.

  • Sola gratia (grace alone) - every good thing we possess is a gift of God's grace and salvation from our sins is all by the grace of God, not through our merit, but because of what Christ achieved in His life, death and resurrection

  • Sola fide (faith alone) - the grace of God in salvation and sanctification becomes effective in our lives through faith in Him not because of our efforts, but simply by humble dependence upon God.

  • Soli Deo gloria (God's glory alone) - all that we say and do should be pleasing to God, motivated by reverence and love for Him, and for His glory alone. 

  • Sola scriptura (Scripture alone) - the Bible has authority over all other sources of knowledge or understanding iand can make us wise for salvation through Christ and guide us in knowing what it means to live for God's glory alone.

In summary: we are saved by Christ alone, because of grace alone, received through faith alone,  for God's glory alone, according to the Scriptures alone.

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