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Coffeehouse Questions

Making the Case for a Forensic Faith with J. Warner Wallace

In my time working with students, I have found that many students have a passion for God yet few could defend Christianity. They often know what they believe, but they don’t know why they believe it! It is for this reason that Coffeehouse Questions exists. I want to be able to help students understand why they believe what they believe and help them answer difficult objections to their faith. This is also the reason that J. Warner Wallace has written his newest book, Forensic Faith: A Homicide Detective Makes the Case for a More Reasonable, Evidential Christian Faith. Forensic Faith is a fantastic book that is easy to understand and will help you

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  • embrace your duty to defend the truth;
  • devise a training strategy to master the evidence for Christianity;
  • learn how to employ the techniques of a detective to discover new insights from God’s word; and
  • become a better communicator by learning skills of professional case makers.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and would highly recommend it. It includes insight that will deepen your faith and give you confidence to talk with your family, friends, and strangers.

J. Warner Wallace’s other books include Cold Case Christianity and God’s Crime Scene. He is a Senior Fellow at the Colson Center for Christian Worldview, serves as an adjunct professor of Christian apologetics at Biola University and a faculty member at Summit Ministries. Jim also made an appearance in God’s Not Dead 2 which you can see here. Listen below to my two-part interview with J. Warner Wallace as we discuss the importance of being a Christian case maker.

Part 1:

Part 2:

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 for texts only).

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The Fine Tuning Argument with Kendall Brewer

My friend, Kendall Brewer, joined me this week to discuss the teleological argument for God’s existence. You can check out Kendall’s work at Truth Matters.

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).

Does God send good people to hell?

I had the privilege of writing an article for the newly released Apologetics Study Bible for StudentsThis bible was released on July 1st, and is a great resource for your students. Here is just one of over 130 answered questions.

Does God send good people to hell?

This may be hard to take in, but it’s necessary to recognize that there are no good people. Jesus states in Mark 10:18, “No one is good except God alone.” Jeremiah 17:9 says, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick.” And the Lord looked down to the earth in Genesis 6:5 and saw that “the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.” Therefore, the first step in responding to this question is to recognize that we are broken, sinful beings and that only God is good.

We only need to look at the last century to see many examples of human evil. 20-26 million died in camps in the Soviet Union under Joseph Stalin. 300,000 were tortured, raped, or killed in Nanking, China. Another 20-43 million starved to death and 46,000 scholars were buried alive under Mao Zedong in China. 1.2 million Armenians were killed by the Turks from 1915-1923. Six million Jews were killed in concentration camps and another six million of Slavic decent under Adolf Hitler. And in the United States there have been over 55 million babies killed since 1973. This list could keep going because these aren’t rare occurrences. This is what humans do!

These atrocities were not committed by just a few individuals. As Dr. Clay Jones, professor at Biola University says, “It is the average member of the population that commits genocide.” The police battalions that were responsible for capturing, transporting, and executing Jews in Nazi Germany were composed of ordinary men. These men had ordinary jobs with families before joining the Nazi police battalions. You have to ask yourself this question, “If my life had turned out differently, could I have been a guard at Auschwitz?” The answer is “Yes”, because they were ordinary humans just like you and me that committed these acts.

Now you may be thinking, “I am not the same as Hitler, Mao, or Stalin. I do good things.” Well there is a difference between a good person and a person that does good things. We have created the idea in our culture that if you do good then you’re good, and if you do bad then you are bad. However, this is not the view that Jesus held. Jesus was very clear in that only God is good. Therefore, doing a good act doesn’t make you a good person. It only makes you a doer of good.

A better question is, “Do bad people go to hell?” That answer seems obvious. The more important question to ask is, “How could anyone possibly enter heaven?” We are broken and don’t deserve to be with God forever. Hell is the place of eternal punishment for those who have sinned against God, and we all deserve to go there. But this is where we recognize the tremendous grace and compassion of God when He sent Jesus to die for us. Romans 5:8 says, “God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Recognizing our brokenness makes Paul’s words sink in that much more deeply. It is a miracle God pursues us, heals us, forgives us, reconciles us, and brings us into right relationship with him.

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).

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?

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