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Coffeehouse Questions

Azusa Pacific University and LGBTQ+ Relationships

If you know much about the cultural debate on LGBTQ relationships in California then you will know that it has been a busy week in the news. This week’s podcast covers three of these big stories.

Listen as I discuss these three impactful decisions.

What are your thoughs on these three events? Comment below!

You can follow the Coffeehouse Questions Podcast and have it automatically downloaded to your device by subscribing on iTunes. If you don’t have iTunes, find the podcast and follow on SoundCloud or search “Coffeehouse Questions with Ryan Pauly” on your Android podcast player. Finally, if you’d rather stick to the radio, you can listen to the show on 100.1 KGBA every Saturday night from 9-9:30 PT.

Like the Facebook page or follow on Instagram to interact with Ryan and his guests on future shows. Your questions and comments help to make the show more interactive. So, send in those questions at contact@coffeehousequestions.com, FacebookTwitterInstagram, or by text at (714) 989-6927 (Google Voice number for texts only).

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Are there good people?

This past summer I had the privilege of spending a weekend with a group of junior high students. My talks from that weekend are posted here and here. This question came during a time of Q&A after my talk on why God allows evil.

If you are interested in having me speak at your church, camp, or youth group, click on the Endorsements & Speaking page to see my list of topics and contact me at Speaking Requests or email me at contact@coffeehousequestions.com. You can select a topic from the list or suggest your own. I am happy to help in any way I can. God bless!

Stop Telling Students The Answers and Start Showing Them

I was recently struck by an atheist testimony. She was actually sharing her conversion story out of Christianity. Her reason was that she was always told what to believe and what the Bible said. Every question she asked was met with an immediate answer. When she got older she started to investigate things for herself and found that the Bible didn’t actually say the things that she was told it said. This caused her to doubt everything else she was told about the Bible and Christianity.

Teach the Bible Like We Teach Math

Math begins with basic memorization, but it doesn’t stay that way. I remember the days of learning all the addition and multiplication tables. But then there is a time when you move on to more advanced problem-solving equations. When you see something like 3x+7=19, that isn’t something you memorize but is something that you are taught how to solve. If the teacher said x=4 and stops the lesson, you will have no idea if the teacher is right or how to solve the next equation on the test.

When I first started teaching I realized that it was easy to tell the students what Christians believe and how each student should think. In fact, this approach to sharing knowledge is easy across all life stages. Giving answers is much easier than teaching the process of how to research and think through the question yourself. We start when children are small by telling them what to believe, just like math, but then continue to do so as they grow older. Our students often keep hearing the answers like Jesus is God, but don’t know how to properly read and study the Bible for themselves.

I still remember my first formal observation as a teacher during my fifth year of teaching. I prepared an amazing lesson, a great powerpoint, and lectured the students for about 40 minutes. I thought that since it was so carefully put together that I would get a great evaluation. However, the exact opposite happened. I was told that the content was great, but I was also informed that I needed to include the students in the class and help them think through the issues.

Leave your students with confident answers.

I was saddened by the atheist’s story out of Christianity. She trusted her parents and pastors and didn’t find what they were saying to be true. Now I don’t know what those things were and if the Bible said them or not, but the point remains the same. We shouldn’t be giving every answer and leaving our students to simply trust our word. Instead, I want to show them the truth, help them see how I came to conclusions, and let them evaluate the evidence as they make their own decisions.

Almost every day I have a student come into my class with a desire and confidence to show me how to solve a problem from AP calculus. He is confident because he can start from the beginning and finish the problem himself. I want students to have that same confidence with the questions related to faith and Christianity.

What do I think is the best argument for God’s existence?

There are many philosophical and scientific arguments for God’s existence. Many of them are convincing and powerful like the kalam cosmological argument, teleological argument, or the moral argument. I’ve even written about those in one of my first ever blog posts. However, I think there might be an even better argument when understood correctly. Check it out!

You can still get 20% off a copy of Always Be Ready, click here and enter the coupon code “RYAN20”. The offer is good until 12/31/18.

apologetics

You can follow the Coffeehouse Questions Podcast and have it automatically downloaded to your device by subscribing on iTunes. If you don’t have iTunes, find the podcast and follow on SoundCloud or search “Coffeehouse Questions with Ryan Pauly” on your Android podcast player. Finally, if you’d rather stick to the radio, you can listen to the show on 100.1 KGBA every Saturday night from 9-9:30 PT.

Like the Facebook page or follow on Instagram to interact with Ryan and his guests on future shows. Your questions and comments help to make the show more interactive. So, send in those questions at contact@coffeehousequestions.com, FacebookTwitterInstagram, or by text at (714) 989-6927 (Google Voice number for texts only).

If God, Why Evil?

This is probably the most common objection to Christianity and the most difficult to answer. Watch as Ryan walks through different responses with a group of junior high students.

If you are interested in having me speak at your church, camp, or youth group, click on the Endorsements & Speaking page to see my list of topics and contact me at Speaking Requests and email me at contact@coffeehousequestions.com. You can select a topic from the list or suggest your own. I am happy to help in any way I can. God bless!

Is the Bible scientific? with Dr. Hugh Ross

I continue my discussion this week with Dr. Hugh Ross from Reasons to Believe. As we discussed last week, Dr. Ross released his newest book on September 5th titled, Always Be Ready: A Call to Adventurous Faith. We begin this episode by telling a story from the book about a divine encounter on an airplane. The rest of the episode responds to the questions that many of you sent in. These questions include:

  • What is the scientific evidence against changing laws of nature?
  • Is the Bible scientific?
  • Where do we place the dinosaurs?
  • What is carbon dating?
  • How do you know Christianity is true?
  • Why is it important for Christians to pick a side on the age of the earth debate?

I hope you enjoy his responses and don’t miss out on your chance to send in questions for my next interview! Make sure and follow the social media links below for more info.

If you would like 20% off a copy of Always Be Ready, click here and enter the coupon code “RYAN20”.

apologetics

You can follow the Coffeehouse Questions Podcast and have it automatically downloaded to your device by subscribing on iTunes. If you don’t have iTunes, find the podcast and follow on SoundCloud or search “Coffeehouse Questions with Ryan Pauly” on your Android podcast player. Finally, if you’d rather stick to the radio, you can listen to the show on 100.1 KGBA every Saturday night from 9-9:30 PT.

Like the Facebook page or follow on Instagram to interact with Ryan and his guests on future shows. Your questions and comments help to make the show more interactive. So, send in those questions at contact@coffeehousequestions.com, FacebookTwitterInstagram, or by text at (714) 989-6927 (Google Voice number for texts only).apologetics

Always Be Ready with Dr. Hugh Ross

When I started to read Always Be Ready: A Call to Adventurous Faith, I felt like I was back on the mission field. During my four years as a missionary in the Dominican Republic, I often found myself reading missionary biographies. It was so encouraging as a new missionary to hear stories from veterans of how God had worked and done miraculous things.

apologetics

When I came back to the U.S. I began my work in apologetics. Virtually every book I have read over the last three years has dealt with a specific apologetic topic. Some books have stories to prove a point, but I never read, nor was I aware of an apologetic biography. This is exactly what Hugh Ross, Christian astrophysicist and founder of Reasons to Believe, did with his newest book.

Always Be Ready doesn’t focus on an issue in science apologetics. Instead, it is filled with story after story of people coming to Christ and God working to orchestrate divine appointments through the life of Hugh Ross and others. God will often surprise us and give us an adventurous faith if we are ready.

I hope you are encouraged by the testimony and stories just like I was.

If you would like 20% off a copy of Always Be Ready, click here and enter the coupon code “RYAN20”.

apologetics

You can follow the Coffeehouse Questions Podcast and have it automatically downloaded to your device by subscribing on iTunes. If you don’t have iTunes, find the podcast and follow on SoundCloud or search “Coffeehouse Questions with Ryan Pauly” on your Android podcast player. Finally, if you’d rather stick to the radio, you can listen to the show on 100.1 KGBA every Saturday night from 9-9:30 PT.

Like the Facebook page or follow on Instagram to interact with Ryan and his guests on future shows. Your questions and comments help to make the show more interactive. So, send in those questions at contact@coffeehousequestions.com, FacebookTwitterInstagram, or by text at (714) 989-6927 (Google Voice number for texts only).

Science and the Mind of the Maker with Melissa Cain Travis

I know this is the week that you have all been waiting for. Part 2 of my interview with Melissa Cain Travis is finally up, and I had so much fun discussing her new book, Science and the Mind of the Maker: What the Conversation Between Faith and Science Reveals About God. I really hope you enjoy listening to it as much as I enjoyed recording it. If you didn’t listen to last week, then you missed out. But don’t worry! You can go back and listen to it here. We had a great discussion relating to apologetics to children, women in apologetics, and issues about science and faith.

Melissa serves as Assistant Professor of Christian Apologetics at Houston Baptist University, where she has been on the faculty since 2013. She is a contributing writer for Christian Research Journal and has written for the CT Women column on the Christianity Today website. Melissa is pursuing a Ph.D. in humanities, focusing on the history and philosophy related to scientific and mathematical thought in the Western tradition and contemporary scholarship. She earned the Master of Arts in Science and Religion from Biola University.

Enjoy our discussion!

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You can follow the Coffeehouse Questions Podcast and have it automatically downloaded to your device by subscribing on iTunes. If you don’t have iTunes, find the podcast and follow on SoundCloud or search “Coffeehouse Questions with Ryan Pauly” on your Android podcast player. Finally, if you’d rather stick to the radio, you can listen to the show on 100.1 KGBA every Saturday night from 9-9:30 PT.

Like the Facebook page or follow on Instagram to interact with Ryan and his guests on future shows. Your questions and comments help to make the show more interactive. So, send in those questions at contact@coffeehousequestions.com, FacebookTwitterInstagram, or by text at (714) 989-6927 (Google Voice number for texts only).

Does it take more faith to be an atheist? Part 2

Back in July, I wrote a post by the same title. My goal in that post was to help you see that it takes more faith to be an atheist when the correct definition of faith is used. I wrote the original blog in response to an atheist podcast I was listening to where they said the very question of atheists having more faith makes no sense. You can read that initial blog here.

The purpose of part 2 is to respond to a question that I received on my first blog. A reader wrote in an offered the following comment.

As an atheist, I do have to say that I cringe when others try to insist that faith is defined as belief without evidence. That’s not how I understood faith when I was a Christian, and it’s not how the Christians with whom I converse understand faith. I define faith in pretty much the same way that you do: trust in a person or concept.

I really appreciate this first part. It is always nice when someone holding to a different worldview will allow me to define the terms for my own view. Just as I wouldn’t redefine a word and claim that an atheist must accept that definition, I wouldn’t want them to do it to me. The reader continued.

That said, I still don’t see how one could justify the claim that atheists have more faith than do theists. Presumably, both classes of people have faith in their families, friends, authority figures, and beliefs. However, theists also have faith in at least one further entity which atheists do not: God. That would seem to imply that theism necessarily requires more faith than atheism.

By what measure does atheism require more trust in persons or concepts than does theism?

We are not adding up faith

I agree both the Christian and the atheist have faith in their families, friends, and beliefs, but to trying to total the person’s faith would be utterly impossible. How would you even go about adding this up faith? What if as a Christian I only had faith in God and not my family and friend? Would an atheist then have more faith because they have faith in family and friends and I only have faith in God? They have more faith by a score of 2-1.

The other option would be to try to figure out how much faith you had in every single person around you and total that up. But as you can see, that would be completely impossible. Exactly how many friends do I have faith in?

I’m talking about faith in a person

Let’s say that we are in a courtroom and there is a man who is being charged with murder. The more evidence of the person’s guilt, the easier it is to trust that they committed the crime. If I have good reason to believe he is guilty then it is easy to trust the prosecutor. If the prosecutor cannot answer basic questions about the crime, then it takes a lot more trust to believe what the prosecutor is saying.

I think this is similar to the faith we have in Jesus. The Christian worldview answers the deep questions about life and provides evidence for the person of Jesus. The biggest piece of evidence is His life, death, and resurrection. The atheist worldview cannot answer big questions like: Why is there something rather than nothing? Where did first life come from? How did consciousness arise from unconscious matter? For this reason, it is easier to trust that Christianity is true and say that it takes more faith to be an atheist. Christianity provides better answers to life’s big questions.

Belief In vs Belief That

Finally, before any Christians get upset, there is a difference between the belief that a worldview is true and belief in Jesus. We do have a faith in Jesus that an atheist doesn’t have, and I am not saying that believing Christianity is true is enough for someone to be saved. I am responding to the idea of faith that a worldview, or belief, is true.

So, by what measure does atheism require more trust in persons or concepts than does theism? Atheism requires more trust in their worldview because the evidence is not on the side of atheism. The naturalistic or secular worldview cannot answer some of the most important questions which makes it take more faith to believe it is true. Believing that the Christian worldview is true takes less faith because Christianity best explains the world around us. Once you believe that Christianity is true, the final step is to believe in Jesus.

What do you think? Comment below!

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