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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”.

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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).apologetics

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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.

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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).

How does science point to God? with Melissa Cain Travis

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Melissa Cain Travis joined me on the show this week for part 1 in discussing her new book, Science and the Mind of the Maker: What the Conversation Between Faith and Science Reveals About God. We ended up having a great discussion relating to apologetics to children, women in apologetics, and issues about science and faith.

I really wanted to her Melissa’s thoughts on apologetics to children because she is the author of a Young Defenders apologetics storybook series. The books in this series include: How Do We Know God is Really There?, How Do We Know God Created Life?, How Do We Know Jesus is Alive?, and How Do We Know Right from Wrong?.

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.

I hope you enjoy our conversation! Don’t miss part 2 next week.

Do you have any other questions on the topic? 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).

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).

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).

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!

2018 Imperial Valley Apologetics Conference Recap

I had the great privilege of speaking at the 2018 Imperial Valley Apologetics Conference this past weekend in El Centro, CA. I feel bad that it came at the expense of my friend, Tim Barnet, getting sick. But when he asked me to cover for him, I was happy that my Saturday was open.

During the day-long conference, I gave three talks and had a Q&A session. My talks included: Does God exist? Are science and faith compatible? Is the New Testament reliable? IMG_4497

Thank you to Calvary Chapel Bible College El Centro and everyone in attendance. You all are doing an incredible work, and you made it a very special day. And thank you to the visual team for putting together this short recap video from my first talk on the existence of God. You guys were amazing!

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!

Are Genesis 1 and 2 contradictory creation accounts?

I remember the first time a Christian told me that Genesis 1 and 2 were contradictory. He seemed to say it as if it didn’t matter. It was like saying, “There are contradictions in Scripture, but don’t worry about it and just have faith.” This, I believe, is a huge problem. It seems to limit God’s omnipotence or His goodness. It becomes difficult to explain how God, the author of Scripture, would contradict himself. Does God error?

I agree that there are apparent contradictions in Scripture, but just like other apparent contradictions, they are cleared up when understood correctly. Christians can’t avoid this issue in Genesis 1 and 2 by saying they don’t contradict. Instead, we have to give reasons why.

What is the apparent contradiction?

It has often been said that Genesis 1 and 2 provide contradictory accounts of when man was created in relation to other created things. Genesis 1:26 puts the creation of man on the 6th day after all plants (day 3) and animals (days 5 and 6). Genesis 2:5-7 seems to say that man was created before the plants and animals. So the question becomes, were Adam and Eve created near the beginning or end of creation?

In order to answer this question, we must understand the context of Genesis 1 and 2. We understand this need for context in our lives every day. For example, “The lions destroyed the dolphins,” appears crazy on the surface. Why did the lions go into the ocean? Why didn’t the dolphins simply swim away? It then becomes very clear when you realize the person talking is on the sports channel and is covering a recent football game. The context in which the person is talking or writing makes all the difference.

So, we must look at the context and perspective of Genesis 2 in order to see if it contradicts the timeline in Genesis 1. With this understanding, we are able to see that there is a change of perspective. Dr. Hugh Ross, an astronomer and President of Reasons to Believe, explains the change in perspective from Genesis 1 and 2 in his book, Navigating Genesis. He writes,

“While Genesis 1 focuses almost entirely on the physical creation–what God made or made happen and in what order, Genesis 2 begins to elaborate on the why, or purpose, of creation. The Genesis 1 storyteller describes the unfolding scene of the six creation days from a vantage point somewhere just above Earth’s surface, but below the clouds, as God prepared a suitable habitat for humanity. Genesis 2 zooms in on a small portion of Earth’s surface (Eden) and what occurred from the vantage point of one human being (the first human) in that locale, walking and awakening to the sights and sounds all around” (p. 95).

Genesis 2 is no longer talking about the whole globe. Realizing the setting allows us to understand what is meant by the different descriptions. Just like the report about the lions and dolphins. Once you realize the context, we are no longer talking about the ocean but about football. Genesis 1 offers the big picture timeline and Genesis 2 focuses on what happened during the 6th day of creation in the garden. Dr. Ross continues,

“Genesis 1 presents the major physical creation events in a time-ordered sequence… In Genesis 2 God introduces the first humans to their setting, first to the misty land itself, then to the plants, then to the higher animals and, finally, to each other. That is, God sequentially lays out humanity’s authority over and responsibility to manage different components of His earthly creation but offers only a highly condensed, non-sequential summary of His physical creation activity. No contradiction can be inferred legitimately from differences between these two versions of the creation story” (p. 95-96).

Genesis 2 never says that man was created before plants or animals. The garden in Eden was planted after man was created, but this doesn’t mean that the whole globe was void of plants. We then see in Genesis 2:19 that “the Lord had formed every beast of the field and every bird of the heavens and brought them to the man to see what he would call them.” The language here is that God “had formed” the animals and then brought them to the man. Again, this is consistent with what we see in Genesis 1.

Conclusion

Understanding the context and change of perspective allows us to read these two accounts in harmony. They are not both offering a big picture timeline of the creation event. Instead, they are each describing a different aspect of creation. This apparent contradiction becomes clear when understood in this new way, and Genesis 1 and 2 become complementary creation accounts.

What are other apparent contradictions that you have a difficult time with? Comment below!

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