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100 Episodes and 22 Interviews Later

I didn’t know what to expect or even what I was doing when I first started the Coffeehouse Questions podcast. All I knew was that J. Warner Wallace said it would be easy to start a podcast, and that part was true. It only cost me $10 and the first episode was posted. What he didn’t mention is the hard work that would go into publishing over 100 episodes. However, even with the hard work, time, and learning, it has been an incredible journey.

Of the first 100 episodes, the best part has been hosting some incredible authors, apologists, and friends on my show. The topics have ranged from prayer to abortion, logic, transgenderism, the big bang, death before the fall, Mormonism, unforgiveness, evangelism, and more. Check out the 35 different episodes with 22 different guests over the course of the last 2+ years. (Order from newest to oldest)


 


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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Does the Bible have authority?

We love to be our own authority. And in a time where personal autonomy is most important, all forms of authority are being thrown out. This creates a problem because most people understand that authority is actually good. There are legitimate forms of authority that are necessary. So, is the Bible a legitimate authority in our life?

This podcast looks at the view of authority in our culture. It then presents three reasons why the Bible really does have authority over our lives. Check it out!

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).

Stop Telling Students The Answers and Start Showing Them

I was recently struck by an atheist testimony. She was actually sharing her conversion story out of Christianity. Her reason was that she was always told what to believe and what the Bible said. Every question she asked was met with an immediate answer. When she got older she started to investigate things for herself and found that the Bible didn’t actually say the things that she was told it said. This caused her to doubt everything else she was told about the Bible and Christianity.

Teach the Bible Like We Teach Math

Math begins with basic memorization, but it doesn’t stay that way. I remember the days of learning all the addition and multiplication tables. But then there is a time when you move on to more advanced problem-solving equations. When you see something like 3x+7=19, that isn’t something you memorize but is something that you are taught how to solve. If the teacher said x=4 and stops the lesson, you will have no idea if the teacher is right or how to solve the next equation on the test.

When I first started teaching I realized that it was easy to tell the students what Christians believe and how each student should think. In fact, this approach to sharing knowledge is easy across all life stages. Giving answers is much easier than teaching the process of how to research and think through the question yourself. We start when children are small by telling them what to believe, just like math, but then continue to do so as they grow older. Our students often keep hearing the answers like Jesus is God, but don’t know how to properly read and study the Bible for themselves.

I still remember my first formal observation as a teacher during my fifth year of teaching. I prepared an amazing lesson, a great powerpoint, and lectured the students for about 40 minutes. I thought that since it was so carefully put together that I would get a great evaluation. However, the exact opposite happened. I was told that the content was great, but I was also informed that I needed to include the students in the class and help them think through the issues.

Leave your students with confident answers.

I was saddened by the atheist’s story out of Christianity. She trusted her parents and pastors and didn’t find what they were saying to be true. Now I don’t know what those things were and if the Bible said them or not, but the point remains the same. We shouldn’t be giving every answer and leaving our students to simply trust our word. Instead, I want to show them the truth, help them see how I came to conclusions, and let them evaluate the evidence as they make their own decisions.

Almost every day I have a student come into my class with a desire and confidence to show me how to solve a problem from AP calculus. He is confident because he can start from the beginning and finish the problem himself. I want students to have that same confidence with the questions related to faith and Christianity.

If God, Why Evil?

This is probably the most common objection to Christianity and the most difficult to answer. Watch as Ryan walks through different responses with a group of junior high students.

If you are interested in having me speak at your church, camp, or youth group, click on the Endorsements & Speaking page to see my list of topics and contact me at Speaking Requests 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!

Resurrection: Real? Or Real Dumb?

What is more important in Christianity than the resurrection?

Pretty much nothing!

Paul is pretty clear in 1 Corinthians 15. If Jesus did not rise from the dead then our preaching is in vain, our faith is in vain, we are misrepresenting God, our faith is futile, we are still in our sins, and we are the most to be pitied. Verse 32 even says, “If the dead are not raised, ‘Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die.'” Those are some very strong words!

However, if Jesus did rise from the dead, then it changes everything. That is why answering the question as to the truth of the resurrection is probably the most important thing we can do aside from putting our trust in Jesus.

“Resurrection: Real? Or Real Dumb?” is designed to help people see that the resurrection is real and that we should put our trust in Jesus. It really does make the most sense when looking at all of the possible explanations compared to the evidence as you see here.

Screen Shot 2018-08-14 at 7.46.44 AM

So, I encourage you to watch the talk and decide for yourself which explanation makes the most sense.

If you are looking for more resources, evidence, or objections to what was mentioned here, check out my Easter Resource.

If you are interested in having me speak at your church, camp, or youth group, click on the Endorsements & Speaking page to see my list of topics and contact me at Speaking Requests 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!

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).

How do we understand religious freedom vs. discrimination?

I just finished a two-week section on religious freedom and persecution with my students. In fact, I stopped writing their test in order to record the podcast and write this blog. I feel bad saying this, but I think it is true. The church has not done a great job at helping young people think about important cultural issues. We spend years with students preparing them to go off to the university, but we often are not equipping them to think clearly on important issues. We also don’t do a great job and helping them know their rights in culture and on the college campus.

This is why my chapter on religious freedom and persecution became so important the last two weeks. I wanted the students to think about controversial issues and debate religious freedom and persecution. I wanted them to see how freedoms are being taken away in the United States, how universities are making “free speech” zones, and how Christians are being persecuted around the world. We have a lot to be thankful for, but we also need to stand up, think clearly, and engage our culture with confidence.

Check out this week’s podcast as I  help you discuss religious freedom with clarity.

Video mentioned in the show:

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 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 at contact@coffeehousequestions.com, FacebookTwitter, or by text at (714) 989-6927 (Google Voice number for texts only).

Desperate Hope

In celebration of my 2nd anniversary podcasting, I am giving away 50 copies of Desperate Hope! This opportunity ends in April, so don’t miss out. Simply subscribe to this blog and share it with your friends on social media in order to get your own personalized copy. Once finished, send an email to contact@coffeehousequesions.com with your address and I’ll ship a copy to you completely free!

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