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Coffeehouse Questions

How are other worldviews influencing Christianity today?

Barna Group recently partnered with Summit Ministries in order to better understand how competing worldviews like Marxism, Secularism, New Spirituality, Postmodernism, and Islam are influencing the Christian worldview. What they found was almost unbelievable. Their findings show that only 17% of Christians who say that Christianity is important to them and go to church regularly hold a Christian worldview. This means that Christians are being heavily influenced by the culture. Read their report here.

I have been wanted to record an episode for the last few weeks talking about how I taught Christian and Postmodern history to my students. The results of this research directly line up with my lesson and so I knew that now is the time. Listen here to see how I taught my students about different interpretations, bias, and discovering objective truth.

You can follow the Coffeehouse Questions Podcast and have it automatically downloaded to your device by subscribing on iTunes. You  can also find it and follow on SoundCloud or search “Coffeehouse Questions with Ryan Pauly” on your Android podcast player.

Listen to the Coffeehouse Questions radio show on Active Reliance Radio every Wednesday from 4:30-5 PM PT.

Like the Facebook page, watch live, and interact with Ryan by asking questions and commenting. You can also see who will be future podcast guests on the Facebook page and send in your questions to be asked on the show! Send in your questions on FacebookTwitter, or by text at (714) 989-6927 (Google Voice number only for questions).

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10 Creation Essentials: Old Earth or Young Earth?

It is easy to get into debates on the age of the earth. Old Earth creationists (OEC) will say that the universe is about 13.7 billion years old, and that the earth is about 4.5 billion years old. A Young Earth creationist (YEC) believes that God created everything in six consecutive 24-hour days about 6,000-10,000 years ago.

I frequently hear OEC critique YEC for not being scientific. They sometimes completely ignore scientific discoveries in order to keep their YE perspective. But also, YEC criticize OEC for compromising scripture. It is said that only YEC preserve biblical authority. It is also believed by some that if you accept an old universe then you also accept darwinian evolution. For that reason, we should stick to YEC. What about death before the fall? What about radiometric dating? There seem to be so many objections and points of disagreement between the two sides.

Instead of looking at the details of each of those objections in this post, I want to look at common ground. I think the common points are often ignored or overlooked because we just want to find something to argue about. My school doesn’t take a position on this issue and so I have to refer students to their pastors on this question and other debated topics. For that reason, I tend to look more at the common ground as I present both sides in my class and let students make up their mind. So, what are the points of agreement?

  1. God is the source of all things – physical and non-physical.
  2. God created the universe out of nothing.
  3. God is both transcendent and immanent.
  4. God is eternal and stands outside of matter and time.
  5. Time and matter have a beginning.
  6. God created the universe to be a theater for His glory.
  7. Christians should worship the Creator, not the creation.
  8. God takes delight in what He has made.
  9. Adam and Eve were created in the image of God.
  10. Theories that deny God as Creator are incompatible with Scripture.

I wanted to keep this post short but also show you the amount of agreement between the two sides. Both OEC and YEC believe that God is the creator of all things, there was no pre-existing material, Adam and Eve were historical figures, and Darwinian evolution doesn’t account for advanced life (Each species was created in its present form). This can remain a friendly debate and we can have fun talking about it, but don’t forget that both sides believe in the same God who created all things and will one day restore us into right relationship with him.

What do you think about these common points? Do you think this is a salvific issue? Leave your comments below.

*These 10 points were taken from a lecture by Krista Bontrager. This lecture was part of the Creation and the Bible course through the Reasons Institute.

Who Created God?

What It Looks Like To Follow Jesus – Luke 10:1-24

A few months back I had the opportunity to speak at my home church, RockHarbor Fullerton. They are currently in a series studying the Gospel of Luke titled “Luke: Rediscover Jesus,” and I had the privileged of continuing in the series and teaching on Luke 10:1-24. I hope you enjoy my message!

If you are interested in me speaking at your church or youth group, click on the Endorsements & Speaking page, look through the speaking topics or suggest your own, and contact me at contact@coffeehousequestions.com. I am happy to help in any way I can. God bless!

Starting Faith Conversations

Over the last two weeks I have had multiple questions about how to get people to think about Christianity. How can we motivate students to think about other people and future decisions? What can we do when they are apathetic? How can we initiate conversations about Christianity with friends or family members? This week I answer these questions by giving a few practical steps that we can take to discuss Christianity with those around us.

You can follow the Coffeehouse Questions Podcast and have it automatically downloaded to your device by subscribing on iTunes. You  can also find it and follow on SoundCloud or search “Coffeehouse Questions with Ryan Pauly” on your Android podcast player.

Listen to the Coffeehouse Questions radio show on Active Reliance Radio every Wednesday from 4:30-5 PM PT.

Like the Facebook page, watch live, and interact with Ryan by asking questions and commenting. You can also see who will be future podcast guests on the Facebook page and send in your questions to be asked on the show! Send in your questions on FacebookTwitter, or by text at (714) 989-6927 (Google Voice number only for questions).

The Case for the Resurrection of Jesus Christ

The resurrection of Jesus Christ is one of the most important historical events. The truth of Christianity stands or falls on the resurrection. So, is there any good reason to believe that Jesus rose from the dead? Can we really know what happened 2,000 years ago? I believe that there is evidence and that we can know what happened.

I thought it would be appropriate to repost my blog series on the resurrection since we are approaching Easter Sunday. In this seven-part blog series you will see that there are very good reasons to believe that Jesus rose from the dead. But it shouldn’t stop there. We shouldn’t only believe that Jesus rose from the dead, but we also need to put our trust in Jesus. It is Jesus that gives us life!

I hope you enjoy this series on the resurrection and happy Easter!

  1. The Case for the Resurrection: How do students respond?
  2. The Case for the Resurrection: Was Jesus crucified?
  3. The Case for the Resurrection: Did Jesus die on the cross?
  4. The Case for the Resurrection: Was the tomb empty?
  5. The Case for the Resurrection: Naturalistic Explanations for the Empty Tomb
  6. The Case for the Resurrection: Did the disciples claim to see the risen Jesus?
  7. The Case for the Resurrection: Did the disciples die as martyrs?

Evangelism and the Big Bang with Dr. Jeff Zweerink

Dr. Jeff Zweerink, an astrophysicist and research scholar at Reasons to Believe, joined me to talk about what Christians need to know about Big Bang cosmology. It was interesting that he was able to show how the Big Bang can be useful when it comes to Evangelism. Listen and see how he connected the two!

You can find last week’s interview on the integration of science and faith here.

What are your thoughts on the Big Bang? Make sure to leave a comment below!

Are you a student who is interested in studying science in college? Or may you’re a parent who has a student who is interested in science. If so, you should check out this promo for The Lab, where their goal is to equip students for careers in different scientific disciplines.

You can follow the Coffeehouse Questions Podcast and have it automatically downloaded to your device by subscribing on iTunes. You  can also find it and follow on SoundCloud or search “Coffeehouse Questions with Ryan Pauly” on your Android podcast player.

Listen to the Coffeehouse Questions radio show on Active Reliance Radio every Wednesday from 4:30-5 PM PT.

Like the Facebook page, watch live, and interact with Ryan by asking questions and commenting. You can also see who will be future podcast guests on the Facebook page and send in your questions to be asked on the show! Send in your questions on FacebookTwitter, or by text at (714) 989-6927 (Google Voice number only for questions).

Is it wrong to reinterpret Scripture?

How should we interpret Scripture and what should we use to do it? Should we use science to help better understand the Bible or should theology help us better understand science?

I think it is necessary to start with a very important point. There is a difference between data and interpretations. God has revealed two “books” to us. He has given us the book of nature and the book of the Bible. The words of the Bible and the record of nature is the data. This data does not change. However, our interpretation of this data, which is theology and science, might change and may be wrong.

So I want to suggest that it is possible to reinterpret Scripture without changing the words of the Bible. Instead of reinterpretation changing the Bible, it is us correcting our theology and something we misunderstood about Scripture.

But isn’t science man’s knowledge and the Bible is God’s word? Doesn’t this mean that God’s word is always right and science is the one that is wrong?

It is common for people to raise objections to the record of nature and the words of the Bible being in agreement. They say that these two records are contradictory because at the surface we see two different messages. Two reasons are generally given as to why these two records seem to contradict. First is the fact that Genesis 3:17-19 and Romans 8:20-22 teach that the ground has been cursed. Since the fall of man in Genesis 3, the world has been broken, groaning, and corrupted. The second reason is that man is fallen. Jeremiah 17:9 says that the heart is deceitful and wicked. We also see in Ecclesiastes 7:20 that there is no righteous man who never sins and always does good. So, the argument is made that sinful, deceitful, and fallen men cannot correctly understand a broken world. The Bible is the uncorrupted, true, and eternal word of God. Therefore, the record of nature cannot compare to the perfect, inspired word of God.

3 Ways Science and Theology Relate

The first view called compartmentalism. This view teaches that science and theology are completely different areas of knowledge and that they need to stay separate.

A second view is called Biblicism. This view teaches that the only source of reliable knowledge is the Bible. This is usually argued for based on what I mentioned before about the world being broken and man being corrupt. In this view, we have to study the world through the lens of the Bible.

The third view is dual revelationsim. This view teaches that both God’s word and God’s world are consistent and complementary revelations when properly interpreted. These two revelations are also referred to as general and special revelation.

Image result for dual revelationWhen we recognize that both nature and the Bible are revelations from God, then we need to understand that each one should be taken with equal weight. By equal I mean
that we have to recognize that the two revelations are different and that we have to understand each one the best that we can. Both revelations are used to understand God more because they are two different ways that God has revealed himself to us.

There are many things about nature that the Bible doesn’t speak about and there are theological issues that we could never discover in nature. We will never learn that Jesus is the Messiah or the doctrine of sanctification from nature. Also, the Bible doesn’t speak about other planets or scientific discoveries like atoms. God didn’t reveal everything to us in the Bible. Therefore, it is important to understand where each revelations is limited.  So if general revelation gives us insight into special revelation, then it should be considered and inform our interpretation Scripture. The Bible doesn’t tell us a lot about how creation took place. So if we know things from general revelation that align with Scripture, then we should be able to us it to correct our interpretation.

Understand that we are not changing God’s word with general revelation but only our interpretation of God’s word. If fallen man can get correct interpretations of Scripture, then we should be able to get correct interpretations of nature.

Which view do you hold to when it comes to God’s revelations and our interpretations?

The Integration of Science and Faith with Dr. Jeff Zweerink

Dr. Jeff Zweerink, a research scholar at Reasons to Believe, joined me this week to talk about the integration of science and faith. He is an astrophysicist studying the multiverse theory, dark energy and dark matter, and exoplanets. In this episode he talks about what it is like being a Christian scientist, why the church should care about the scientific disciplines, and how students can stay strong in their faith while studying science.

Are you a student who is interested in studying science in college? Or may you’re a parent who has a student who is interested in science. If so, you should check out this promo for The Lab, where their goal is to equip students for careers in different scientific disciplines.

You can follow the Coffeehouse Questions Podcast and have it automatically downloaded to your device by subscribing on iTunes. You  can also find it and follow on SoundCloud or search “Coffeehouse Questions with Ryan Pauly” on your Android podcast player.

Listen to the Coffeehouse Questions radio show on Active Reliance Radio every Wednesday from 4:30-5 PM PT.

Like the Facebook page, watch live, and interact with Ryan by asking questions and commenting. Send in your questions on FacebookTwitter, or by text at (714) 989-6927 (Google Voice number only for questions).

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