#TheBookshelf - Paul Coulter

Paul Coulter is a former lecturer in Practical Theology and Missiology at the Belfast Bible College. He is currently on Sabbatical and will soon begin a new post with Living Leadership. Paul is also a member of the Evangelical Alliance UK Council and serves on the board for New Horizon Ministries. Check out his recommendations below!

  1. Christian Classics - No Compromise - Melody Green

    I’m not certain this book belongs in the ‘classics’ category, but it had to appear on my personal bookshelf and it just didn’t fit anywhere else. As a teenager, Keith Green’s life and songs inspired in me a passion to live for Christ without limitations. His all-out devotion and powerful singing ensured the head knowledge I was gaining from Bible teaching and personal study was married with heart devotion. Looking back, I realise Green’s theology needed some refining, but his seven years of Christian life before his death aged 28 profoundly challenge me to seek radical fruitfulness in my life.

  2. Theological Foundations - Mere Christianity - C.S. Lewis

    When reading Lewis, I frequently find myself thinking no one could possibly make his point better and realising how much my theological understanding has been influenced by his writings, especially this classic. I love this book because it presents a positive vision of Christianity as a master-class in apologetics to the culture of Lewis’s day (it was born from a series of talks broadcast on BBC radio in the 1940s) and because it presents a unifying Christian orthodoxy that transcends traditions and denominations. I want to become merely, thoroughly and consistently Christian and Lewis has helped me along that path.

  3. Discipleship & Development - From Now On - Ralph Shallis

    I can’t remember how I stumbled upon this book, translated from a French original, but it helped my discipleship journey more than any other. “The spiritual Christian”, Shallis writes, “sets out to do God’s will with his whole heart. God can […] use him to the uttermost”. This book issues a call for life in the fullness of the Spirit as a disciple of Jesus and explains three principles underpinning that life – conscience (don’t grieve the Spirit); will (don’t quench the Spirit); and progress (walk by the Spirit) – and four disciplines necessary to nourish it – prayer; Scripture; fellowship; and outreach.

  4. Church & Mission - Total Church - Tim Chester and Steve Timmis

    I have hundreds of books on these vital subjects in the current context, so this was a hard choice. I opted for Total Church because I often add ticks when I agree (one to three depending on enthusiasm) and question marks (when I’m not sure I agree) in the margins as I read and this book has more triple ticks and fewer queries than any other on this theme. The thesis is simple: lets radically shape Church around the content of the gospel – truth to be proclaimed, so we must be Word and mission centred) in the context of community.

  5. Culture & Literature - The Lord of the Rings - J.R.R. Tolkien

    The ultimate fantasy epic written within a Christian worldview and embodying rich themes of endurance, friendship, love, sorrow and, of course, the triumph of weakness over Sauron’s naked will to power. It resonates with my anti-elitist tendencies to think of simple Sam carrying the one who carried the ring. Tolkien’s genius in weaving a coherent world with all the intricacies of culture and language was immense. This book, more than any other, carries me to a different world and makes me long for the other world of God’s kingdom to come in its fullness through the return of the king.