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Coffeehouse Questions

Listener Questions and the Question Behind Marriage

I decided to do things a bit different this week and get my topics from Instagram. I posted on my story for people to send in any question that they would like to have answered on the show, and four questions quickly came in. They were:

  1. How was Satan able to be in God’s presence in the book of Job?
  2. Who’s the cute girl in the pic??
  3. What has God taught you this past week?
  4. Would you live internationally again given the chance?

I then finished up the episode talking about the main question behind abortion and marriage. Check it out!

Do you still have questions? 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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Was there Death Before the Fall? Interview with Krista Bontrager

When teaching on the age of the universe, I usually take a neutral approach. In my opinion, the profound reality that God created the universe is more important than when God created it. And when I start presenting evidence for an ancient universe, I almost always receive the exact same questions.

If the earth is old, then wouldn’t that mean there was death before the fall? How does this idea reconcile with Genesis 1:31 which says, “And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good.” How can millions of years of animal death be called very good? It also seems to contradict with Romans 8:12 where Paul writes, “Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned.”

These are great questions that warrant a response from anyone holding to an old earth. Helping us to think about the topic this week is Krista Bontrager. This is her second week on the show. Last week, she discussed whether the biblical flood was local or global. Krista is a theologian, the Director of the Scholar Community at Reasons to Believe, and an instructor at the Reasons Institute. Krista is also the author of the small-group study The Bigger Picture on Creation and coauthor of the booklet Psalm 104: In Wisdom You Made Them All.

Do you still have questions? 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).

Does it take more faith to be an atheist?

This blog first appeared at SeanMcDowell.org.

According to Ask An Atheist with Sam Mulvey, this question makes no sense whatsoever. In a podcast recorded on May 27th, 2018, the hosts were discussing common tactics that Christians use when talking to atheists. The second tactic they mentioned was that Christians say, “It takes more faith to be an atheist.”

The show hosts explained that this statement makes no sense because atheism doesn’t fall under the definition of faith. The “religious” definition of faith that they cited was, “A strong belief in God or in the doctrines of a religion based on spiritual apprehension rather than proof.” This, according to them, “does not leave any room for atheism to be considered a religion.”

The second definition they mentioned for faith is having trust in a person. It is how you have faith in your wife, children, parents, or teachers. One host explained that having trust in a person isn’t faith by explaining her trust in her husband. She said, “No, I have nearly two decades of evidence to support this. Once that stops being true then I would reevaluate my perspective or perception of my spouse. That’s not faith, that’s evidence.”

What is Biblical faith?

Biblical faith isn’t what was described above as “religious” faith. As Alan Shlemon wrote, “Biblical faith, then, is not blind, but functions the same way as trust. You don’t blindly trust people. They have to earn it. You put your trust in people you have good reason to trust.” As Alan describes, biblical faith seems to more closely match the second definition from above.

Christians should understand this because of verses like John 20:30-31 which says, “Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.” Jesus also seemed to have this view of faith from verses like Mark 2:1-12 and Matthew 11:2-5.

Jesus did many signs right in front of people, including his resurrection from the dead. These things were done so that we believe and have life in him. Belief in Christianity is not the result of spiritual apprehension against the proof. Rather, it is trusting in the evidence.

Does it take more faith to be an atheist?

Using their definition of faith, I can see why the hosts of Ask An Atheist take exception to this. In fact, when we have the correct definition of biblical faith, then you understand that we all have faith. Christian faith is similar to the faith described by the one host who talked about having two decades of evidence to support her trust in her husband. We all have to put our trust in the evidence, and I’m convinced that Christians have a far greater amount of evidence to put our trust in compared to atheism. That is why it takes more faith to be an atheist.

As Greg Koukl wrote in Faith Is Not Wishing, “Faith is not about wishing, but about confidence, and the facts make the difference. You get a hold of the facts, you study, you learn—even a little—and you’ll realize that you’re not just wishing on a star about eternal things. You’ll realize Christianity really is true.”

As a Christian, I want to encourage you to be a seeker of truth and to study the facts with an open mind. I cannot list all of the evidence here, but I encourage you to look for it. Evidence That Demands a Verdict and I Don’t Have Enough Faith to Be an Atheist are two great resources. I hope that you will understand what biblical faith is and go see how much evidence there is for your position.

Was the Biblical Flood Local or Global? Interview with Krista Bontrager

It seems that believing in a global flood is one of the most agreed upon beliefs in Christianity. This makes sense because the Bible seems to be clear that the flood was global in Genesis 7:17–24.

[17] The flood continued forty days on the earth. The waters increased and bore up the ark, and it rose high above the earth. [18] The waters prevailed and increased greatly on the earth, and the ark floated on the face of the waters. [19] And the waters prevailed so mightily on the earth that all the high mountains under the whole heaven were covered. [20] The waters prevailed above the mountains, covering them fifteen cubits deep. [21] And all flesh died that moved on the earth, birds, livestock, beasts, all swarming creatures that swarm on the earth, and all mankind. [22] Everything on the dry land in whose nostrils was the breath of life died. [23] He blotted out every living thing that was on the face of the ground, man and animals and creeping things and birds of the heavens. They were blotted out from the earth. Only Noah was left, and those who were with him in the ark. [24] And the waters prevailed on the earth 150 days. (ESV)

Even though this verse seems clear, there are some really smart Christians who think the flood was local. They believe that the waters were universal in destruction but not global in scope. This is the view that is presented in the podcast. My goal is not to convince you all of one position or another but to help you see that there are two possible interpretations.

Joining me to discuss this issue is Krista Bontrager. She is a theologian, the Director of the Scholar Community at Reasons to Believe, and an instructor at the Reasons Institute. Krista is also the author of the small-group study The Bigger Picture on Creation and coauthor of the booklet Psalm 104: In Wisdom You Made Them All.

I hope you enjoy our discussion and come away with a fresh perspective on this topic.

Do you still have questions? 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).

Responding to Student Worldview Issues with Dr. Jeff Myers

Dr. Jeff Myers, president of Summit Ministries, joined me this week to discuss student worldview issues. If you have students and haven’t heard of Summit, then it is definitely something you need to check out. One of Summit’s main focuses is a two-week conference for 16-25 year olds that is located in Colorado, Tennessee, and Pennsylvania. Every summer they bring in the best leaders to train the students in worldview, culture, theology, apologetics, and much more.

Summit also has a publishing division that offers resources for Christian schools, homeschool, and churches. I use their Christian school curriculum in my classroom and it has been transforming for the students.

worldview

 

worldview

Dr. Myers has also recently published his newest book, The Secret Battle of Ideas about God: Overcoming the Outbreak of Five Fatal Worldviews.

I hope you enjoy my discussion with Dr. Myers on student worldview issues and find the resources of Summit Ministries helpful.

What questions do you have about culture, students, and worldview? 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).

Practical Strategies for Sharing the Good News with Mormons – Interview with Eric Johnson

Mormonism

Eric Johnson, an expert in Mormonism and co-author of Answering Mormons’ Questions: Ready Responses for Inquiring Latter-day Saints and  Mormonism 101: Examining the Religion of the Latter-day Saints, joined me for a second week to discuss practical strategies for sharing the good news with Mormons. His newest book that he co-edited with Sean McDowell, Sharing the Good News with Mormons, was released last week.

Check out the second part on Mormonism. I hope that this would encourage you to get a copy of the book and start sharing the good news with Mormons.

Additional Resources

What questions do you still have about strategies for getting the conversation started? 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).

Look what was posted about Jesus on Snapchat

The Search for the Real Jesus Christ

Who was Jesus Christ? Was he God or merely a man? Was he a smart moral teacher? Did he even exist?

Articles from all sides are produced every year in an attempt to answer these questions. They mostly appear around Christmas and Easter due to the importance of those dates in the history of Christianity. It isn’t a surprise given the importance of those questions and the impact of Jesus Christ on human history. Discovering the truth of Jesus changes our understanding of all of human history and all of eternity!

Now, if you aren’t familiar with Snapchat, one of its features is “Discover” which is like a news feed. It is here that you will find news about sports, pop culture, tending profiles, and everything in-between. National Geographic is one of many groups who have a feed in the discover section of Snapchat. They published the story “The Search for the Real Jesus Christ.” When you click on the story, it takes you to this next screen prompting you to complete a quiz. There is only one question to this quiz. Could Jesus have been a real person?

Jesus Christ

If they have continued to hold your attention, the next step would be to swipe up and take their quiz. Here is the following screen.

Jesus Christ

Could Jesus have been a real person? Which one is it? Here is their answer.

Chose “yes” and you get a smiling emoji indicating your correct answer! A “no” response leads to a red square with a crying face for getting the wrong answer.

This was a bit of a surprise since I normally see published articles that doubt the historicity of Jesus. The surprising part of this is that the existence of Jesus isn’t doubted by mainstream scholars but is commonly doubted by popular publications. Since this is a popular post, I expected to see the opposite. However, here is the quote that concluded the quiz.

Jesus Christ

It is true that mainstream scholars don’t doubt the historicity of Jesus. Even one of the most popular non-Christian scholars, Bart Ehrman, affirms the existence of a historical Jesus. Here is his response to doubters in his own words.

So, what do we conclude?

Jesus existed. This doesn’t make Christianity true, but it should compel us to look further into who Jesus was. What we find is that there is strong evidence for the truth of the gospels and for his resurrection. These two facts lead to the best explanation being that Jesus was who he said he was, the Son of God.

What does Mormonism teach? Interview with Eric Johnson

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Have you ever been at a loss for words when Mormon missionaries knock on your door? Do you wish you had a better understanding of what they believe and how it compares to Christianity? If so, then I would recommend Eric Johnson and Sean McDowell’s new book that just released today! Sharing The Good News With Mormons: Practical Strategies For Getting The Conversation Started will give you the tools you need to have fruitful conversations with Mormons. Check out SharingWithMormons.com for more information.

Eric Johnson, an expert in Mormonism and co-author of Answering Mormons’ Questions: Ready Responses for Inquiring Latter-day Saints and  Mormonism 101: Examining the Religion of the Latter-day Saints, joined me to discuss the important LDS teachings that every Christian should understand.

I hope you enjoy part 1 of this interview as we discuss the teachings of the LDS church. Don’t miss part 2 next week as we dive into Eric and Sean’s new book and look at practical strategies.

 

What questions do you still have about the teaching of Mormonism and strategies for getting the conversation started? 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).

 

A Tactical Approach to Evolution (video)

A few months back, I was invited to a very unique church group. Though I have never seen a church host a group meeting like this one, after leaving I realized that it is probably something every church should have. And if your church won’t create one, consider starting it up at someone’s house.

The group is called Persuade and is hosted every week by Orange County Church in Tustin, CA. This church has a speaker each week (usually a church member) discuss an important or controversial issue. Before I was invited to discuss on creation vs. evolution, they had already covered the kalam, the resurrection, the argument from contingency, and abortion. At the end of every talk, which is about 30 minutes, the audience is encouraged to ask questions and raise objections. In fact, the goal is to stump the speaker.

I was told that they normally spend at least an hour with the questions and objections. They turned out to be serious when they followed up my talk with an hour and fifteen minutes of questions and objections. You could say that the audience was very prepared with questions they had either researched or encountered in personal conversations.

As someone who travels to train churches and students to defend the Christian faith, this was so encouraging. This group had such a yearning to know and defend the truth. They took 1 Peter 3:15 seriously in their desire to always be ready to give a defense for the hope that they have. It was a wonderful privilege to join Persuade that evening and help believers think critically about creation and evolution. I hope that you too are encouraged by the video below to start something like this with fellow believers.

What questions or objections do you have on the topic of creation and evolution? Comment below!

If you are interested in having me speak at your church, camp, or youth group, click on the Endorsements & Speaking page 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!

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