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December 2017

Top 10 Videos of 2017

One of my goals since starting Coffeehouse Questions has been to take on speaking events. The blog started in 2015 and the podcast started in 2016. 2017 was very exciting because I started to get more frequent requests for speaking events. I was able to speak at school chapels, churches, a Ratio Christi club, and summer camps. Three of my events were with Stand to Reason at Hume Lake.

I am so grateful for each of these events. I already have one event on my Calendar for January 10th in Indiana, and I’m looking forward to booking more in 2018! Check out my Endorsements & Speaking page for topics or suggest your own!

Enjoy the most viewed videos from 2018!

10. Discussing the Resurrection of Jesus on Truth Matters TV

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

8. Are Science and Faith Compatible?

7. World Religions: Are they all true?

6. Is Jesus the only way to God?

5. How Relativism Undermines Your Student’s Faith in Christ

4. Who created God?

3. How do I share God with someone who rejects Christ?

2. How can God be loving when he commanded killing in the Old Testament?

1. Will we have free will in heaven if we can’t sin?

I hope you enjoy this list of videos from 2017. I am still trying to catch up and have more videos to post, so follow the blog and look for those in the future! Finally, in case you missed it, you can check out the top blogs and top podcasts from 2017.

God bless and Happy New Year!

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Top 10 Podcasts of 2017

At the end of 2016 the Coffeehouse Questions podcast was only 10 months old. I had recorded 54 episodes and received just over 5,000 downloads. Well now it’s 2017, and I have added another 23 episodes to the list. These new episodes received over 11,000 downloads. I wish I would have stuck with recording a new episode each week, but it became too much for the season I was in. I apologize for those of you who were waiting far too long for a new episode, and I appreciate your gentle reminders to release a new show.

Thank you everyone for a great year! I had a blast recording each show and I hope you enjoyed listening to them.

Here are the most downloaded podcasts of 2017!

10. How are other worldviews influencing Christians today?

9. The Story of Reality with Greg Koukl Part 1

8. The Nashville Statement: A Christian Response and Testimony

7. The Story of Reality with Greg Koukl Part 2

6. Logic and Critical Thinking with Kenneth Samples Part 1

5. Why Being Lukewarm Doesn’t Mean What You Likely Think It Means

4. Why Apologetics Should Be Relational with Michael Sherrard

3. Response to God Being All Loving Yet Commanding Killings In The Old Testament

2. Starting Faith Conversations

1. The Case For Christ

I would like to encourage you to check out the top blogs from 2017, the top videos from 2017, as well as last year’s top podcasts.

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.

God bless and Happy New Year!

Top 10 Blogs of 2017

Another year is coming to an end, and there is so much to be thankful for. I didn’t get as many articles written in 2017, but that didn’t stop you all from reading and supporting my work. I was able to publish 48 different articles addressing different questions about Christianity, science, ethics, religion, and culture. These posts were seen in 113 countries!

CoffeehouseQuestions.com isn’t the only place featuring my writing. This past year I also started writing at SeanMcDowell.org and apologetics.com. I couldn’t have done this if it wasn’t for my readers. You all have encouraged me so much. Thank you for another great year!

Here are the 10 most read blogs in 2017!

10. 10 Self-Defeating Ideas You Should Probably Stop Believing

9. Does God just want us to be happy?

8. Does God send good people to hell?

7. Is belief in God a rational position?

6. How is an eternal hell an example of a loving God?

5. What is the evidence for evolution from the fossil record?

4. If God created Satan, does evil and sin come from God?

3. What does the Bible really say about homosexuality?

2. Can Christians claim to have the One, True God?

1. 10 Creation Essentials: Old Earth or Young Earth?

Be sure to check the top podcasts and videos of 2017. You can also look back into the past with the top 10 blogs of 2016, and subscribe to get future posts.

God bless and Happy New Year!

Why doesn’t everyone believe in Jesus if he came to earth?

I often get the question, “Why doesn’t God do something that would just make everyone believe in Him?” I often ask, what would that be?

Students respond by saying things like:

“He could give everyone a dream!”

“He could stand right in front of me and tell me He is God.”

“He could do miracles!”

To this I respond, He has already done that. This Christmas, we celebrated the fact that Jesus, God incarnate, came to this earth, lived, and did miracles in front of many people. However, many did not believe in Him after this. Why not? Listen to this week’s podcast.

Why do you think people don’t believe?

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.

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).

What is the evidence for evolution in the fossil record?

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My “fun read” since the semester is over.

“Evolution gives us the true account of our origins, replacing the myths that satisfied us for thousands of years. Some find this deeply frightening, others ineffably thrilling… But it is more than just a good theory, or even a beautiful one. It also happens to be true.” These are just two statements from the introduction of Dr. Jerry Coyne‘s book, Why Evolution Is True. If the title of the book wasn’t clear enough, the introduction makes his position even clearer. In fact, his book is also an attack against creationism and anyone who believes that it should be taught in schools along with evolution. Coyne says, “Why teach a discredited, religiously based theory, even one widely believed, alongside a theory so obviously true?” So, is creationism discredited? Can it stand up against a theory so obviously true like evolution?

When I teach on evolution, I always make sure to emphasize the three Columbo questions from Greg Koukl‘s book, Tactics. It is always good to respond with questions instead of statements if someone comes up to you and says, “Evolution is a fact. Do you believe in it?” After this question you could say…

  1. What do you mean by evolution? Are they defending change over time, micro-evolution, or Darwinian evolution (macro-evolution)? Make sure you are both discussing the same definition of evolution.
  2. How did they come to that conclusion? What evidence do they have to support their view of evolution?
  3. Have you considered…? This is when we can answer their question by presenting another option that agrees with the evidence. The goal is to get them to think rather than simply stating facts that can be dismissed.

When I go through these questions with students, especially the second question, they almost always respond by saying that fossils are evidence for evolution. What is the evidence for evolution in the fossil record? This is the first question Dr. Coyne addresses in his book after defining evolution in the first chapter, and for this reason, it will be the first topic we discuss. Dr. Coyne says,

There are several types [of evidence]. First, the big evolutionary picture: a scan through the entire sequence of rock strata should show early life to be quite simple, with more complex species appearing only after some time. Moreover, the youngest fossils we find should be those that are most similar to living species (Why Evolution Is True, p. 25).

Second, when we find transitional forms, they occur in the fossil record precisely where they should (p. 53).

Finally, evolutionary change, even of a major sort, nearly always involves remodeling the old into the new (p. 54).

Dr. Coyne gives many examples to support his first piece of evidence that species move from simple to complex. He covers fossilized evolution and speciation, the “missing links,” evolution of fish to amphibians, the origin of birds, and the evolution of whales. Each example starts with an ancient species and shows a gradual evolution to what we have today. And when you begin to be overwhelmed by the amount of evidence, Coyne says, “If at this point you’re feeling overwhelmed with fossils, be consoled that I’ve omitted hundred of others that also show evolution” (p. 51). With hundreds examples proving evolution to be a fact, why am I not an evolutionist?

Why I’m not convinced

Dr. Coyne has given many examples of similar fossils that appear to be evolving slowly, but this doesn’t frighten me. Showing similar fossils moving from simple to complex does not prove that evolution is true. Within an atheistic or naturalistic framework I can see why this makes sense. It seems to line up so perfectly and is the only option. However, naturalism isn’t the only framework in which to understand the evidence. The Christian worldview presents another possibility; God created each of those species. Even Dr. Coyne admits that, “It is easier to document evolution in the fossil record than to understand what caused it” (p. 31). We see fossils that appear to be so similar, but we cannot know, from fossils alone, what caused them to be so similar. This still leaves two options on the table.

Have you considered that the fossil record could be the result of a common creator?

Fossils are always used to prove evolution, but couldn’t they be explained by both a common creator or a common ancestor? Dr. Coyne gives two answers as to why the common creator option doesn’t make sense. First, “No theory of special creation, or any theory other than evolution, can explain these patterns” (p. 29). This really confused me, and I was upset to see that this statement came without explanation at the end of the section. Why can’t special creation account for the simple to complex patterns we see? Why couldn’t God create different kinds of animals with similar body forms? If natural selection acting on random genetic mutations (a mindless process), can produce those results, why couldn’t an intelligent creator?

Second, Dr. Coyne says, “There is no reason why a celestial designer, fashioning organisms from scratch like an architect designs buildings, should make new species by remodeling the features of existing ones. Each species could be constructed from the ground up” (p. 54). It is true that God could construct each species from the ground up, but why would he have to do that? Genesis 1:25-26 tells us that God made the beasts of the earth, and then made man in His image. The Hebrew word meaning “to make” in these verses can describe the creation of a new form from preexisting materials. This is confirmed in that Genesis 2:7 tells us, “God formed the man of dust from the ground.” So, even though God could have created each animal kind completely different, it doesn’t appear that He did it this way. Similar bone structures and DNA show that God used similar “blueprints” when creating animals and humans in their present form. Evolution isn’t the only explanation for similar structures.

Special creation does explain the patterns we see in the fossil record. It explains the “transitional fossils,” the “missing links,” and the origin of life. Therefore, I am convinced that fossils don’t only point to evolution but can also be explained by creation. The creation account in Genesis 1-2 should not be thrown out as a religiously based and discredited theory.

What do you think? Why do you hold to creation or evolution? Leave your comments below and check back later as we dive into other issues on this topic!

 

Discussing the Resurrection of Jesus on Truth Matters TV

About two years ago I was able to connect with Ratio Christi and partner with their great work on college campuses. This last summer I gave my talk on world religions at the Ratio Christi chapter at Colorado State University. And now, most recently, I had the privilege of discussing the resurrection of Jesus on Truth Matters TV. Watch my recent appearance below and check out the link for all of their other shows.

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!

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