Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Roast Pork Loin

It's been a while since I posted a recipe. But now I'm back sharing my favorite dishes with you. This is an especially good one that is so easy and makes a great meal and great leftovers (if there are any).

1 boneless pork loin (4-5 lbs)
3 tablespoons olive oil
2-1/2 tablespoons Weber roasted garlic and herb seasoning
1-1/2 tablespoons dried rosemary
2 teaspoons salt (I use about half Kosher salt and half table salt)
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 cups water

Note: All seasonings are approximate amounts. I never actually measure them. You can adjust them to your taste also. If you don't have the same garlic and herb seasoning I use, substitute another garlic and herb seasoning or a mix of minced garlic, salt, sage, thyme, and whatever other herbs you like.

Rinse pork loin and pat dry with a paper towel. Place in a large roasting pan or baking pan. Mix all the seasonings together with the olive oil.

Rub the seasoning blend over the pork loin on all sides. Make sure the fat side of the pork loin is down. Pour the water into the bottom of the roasting pan.

Cover the roasting pan with the lid (or cover a baking pan with aluminum foil).

Bake at 300 degrees for about 3 to 3-1/2 hours or until tender enough to pull apart with a fork. Baste 2-3 times during the last hour.

That's it! For about 5-10 minutes of work (prep and basting) you get a roast pork loin that is juicy, tender, and so delicious.

Warning: The aroma of the pork loin cooking may cause excessive mouth watering, hunger pains, and frequent checks to see if it is done yet. When I make this, my whole house smells delicious for up to 2 hours before it is even done. No kidding.

Serve with mashed potatoes (you've got to have mashed potatoes with this) and a veggie side. I like steamed green beans or green peas with this recipe. I sometimes do candied sweet potatoes with it as a third side. Green lima beans, a green bean casserole, butternut squash, or any other hearty vegetable dish would also work well. Enjoy!

As an additional note, this recipe can be done in a crock pot as well. Just cook it for little longer (roughly 5 hours on high or 8 hours on low, depending on your crock pot).

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Scientific Support for the Young Earth Creationist Timeline

Here is a guest post from my husband, Doug. (He's awesome!)

It is often suggested that those of us who accept the young earth creationary timeline – otherwise known as Young Earth Creationists (YECs) – do not accept science, or are in denial of science, etc. Basically, these critics (who are often either evolutionists or Old Earth Creationists – OECs) seem to believe that we are ignorant of the scientific evidence which “everyone knows” has proven that the universe is actually billions of years old. They often suggest that we are simply clinging to our YEC interpretation of the Bible and are willing to ignore overwhelming scientific evidence to the contrary. This notion could not be further from the truth.
In fact, the YEC model does have scientific support, and YECs are actively involved in scientific research on the matter. An article by Dr. Ronald Samec in the most recent Creation Matters provides a good example. (See Samec, R.G. 2014. Questioning Pulsar Ages. Creation Matters, 19(3):1-2.) This article discusses the traditional method of age determination for supernova remnants (SNRs) which yield typical ages for these objects which often exceed the YEC age of the universe. However, the paper also outlines a second chronological method which seems to me to be more objective and which seems to have more observational support (i.e. less model dependent and more observational).
This alternative dating method is based on the observed expansion rate of the debris cloud surrounding the SNR. With that observational data in hand, deriving an age estimate for the supernova event is simple mathematics. The interesting thing is that these ages typically fall well within the young earth creationary timeline and even more significant than that – they often match with a date on the Chinese calendar when just such an event was observed. This is phenomenal! The fact that these YEC dates match with recorded observations provides tremendous support for this method. Thus, it seems that this dating method (which yields dates consistent with the YEC chronology) is actually better supported than the more traditional method which is much more model dependent.
Note that this does not mean that every object in the universe is only thousands of years old. In fact, one of the most widely accepted YEC cosmologies (White Hole Cosmology) involves a great deal of gravitational time dilation on a cosmic scale. In this model, the entire universe was created during the same six ordinary days of creation (a few thousand years ago – by earthbound clocks), but the distant universe has experienced significantly more time than has passed here in the vicinity of the earth. This time dilation is predicted by the same gravitational field equations (from Einstein’s General Relativity Theory) that are used in modeling the Big Bang. The fundamental difference between these two vastly different results is in the boundary conditions assumed for the universe. And guess what, these boundary conditions are unobservable because they are quite beyond the edge of the observable universe. Thus, there is no objective reason to believe that one set of boundary conditions should be preferred over another. So it does not contradict the YEC chronology to point out that it is quite possible that objects in the distant universe have experienced more than a few thousand years of real history since they were created.
However, the main point here is to show that YECs are not ignorant of science, that they are not ignoring scientific discoveries, and that they accept the YEC chronology, not simply because they believe that’s what the Bible most clearly presents, but because they have good, scientific reasons of their own which suggest that it is reasonable.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Food For Thought: Is Christianity Objectively True?

Here's some important food for thought - a question all Christians need to be able to answer:

Is Christianity objectively true, or subjectively true?

In other words, is the truth of Christianity like, say, the truth that a water molecule consists of two atoms of hydrogen and one atom of oxygen? Or is Christianity just "true" like the statement "Vanilla ice cream is the best" is "true" for some people?

Do the truth claims of Christianity - such as that God created the universe or that Jesus was a real man who actually died and came back to life - reflect reality? Or is Christianity just something you believe if you like it or want it to be true or if it works for you?

If Christianity is objectively true, then how should we be convincing others that it is true? By sharing our subjective experience, or by providing objective evidence? By explaining why it's our favorite flavor of religion, or by showing that it accurately reflects reality? By talking about how it works for us, or by giving arguments that can be verified objectively?

How are you convincing those around you? And what does that say about how you see the truth of Christianity?

Top Posts

My blog just reached 40,000 pageviews last night. Yay! Thanks to all of you who contributed to that. I appreciate you, my readers, because you are the reason I blog. After all, it doesn't do a whole lot of good to write if no one reads it.

In honor of this momentous occasion, I am going to link to some of my best posts, for those of you who may have missed them (or for those who might want to read them again).

I'll start with the series that I consider some of the most important posts I have written, but which often get less traffic. Maybe people are just more likely to share recipes and marriage posts. Or maybe it's because I wrote them early on in my blogging history, before I had a lot of readers, and thus fewer people know about them. In any case, I consider it very important that people understand what inalienable rights are because they are foundational to our understanding of government and politics. And they are also foundational to much of what I write on politics, government, and abortion as well. So, if you haven't read these posts, please take a few minutes to read them.

And, if you're feeling very adventurous, you might answer some of the questions I ask at the end of each one in a comment. I'd love to get some feedback and discussion going.

The Inalienable Rights Series
Part 1: What are Inalienable Rights?
Part 2: The Source of Inalienable Rights
Part 3: Liberty in Society and Government
Part 4: Government by Consent of the Governed
Part 5: Some Common Misconceptions

Another somewhat political post that many haven't read is my post on The Good Thing About Guns. We conservatives need to be talking about why guns are good rather than always being on the defensive on this issue or trying to justify our commitment to the second amendment by saying that people have a right to hunt.

I also write a lot about abortion. Probably my favorite two posts on abortion on this blog are these:
Why We Need a Secular Argument Against Abortion
What is Personhood?

I also have another blog now that I write with my husband Doug called The Rational Abolitionist, which focuses solely on abortion and the secular arguments against it from science and logic. Feel free to stop by and read our take on current events or our arguments on various aspects of the abortion issue.

Many of my most popular posts are on relationships and marriage so here are the top posts in that category:
Opposite Sex Friendships After Marriage: How to Guard Your Heart (My most popular post ever)
How To Settle Disagreements Without Arguing
The Art of Writing Love Notes

In the category of apologetics and Biblical worldview, these are my favorites:
Sunday School Fairy Tales (or Why the Bible Should Be Taught as History)
What Happens to People Who have Never Heard the Gospel?

And last, but not least, in the category of creation and evolution, take a look at Three Logical Prerequisites for Biological Evolution. Darwinian evolution has failed to demonstrate that these things are true, and thus remains in the realm of speculation and myth.

Thanks again, to all my readers. Are there any of my posts that you think are especially important that didn't make this list? What topics would you like to see me cover in the future? I'd love to get input from any of you.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

The Consequences of Sexual Immorality

In case you hadn't noticed, our culture is obsessed with sex. It is used to sell everything, from cars to clothing. It's in most of the movies. There's hardly a movie or show made in the last 20 years that doesn't show, insinuate, or assume that the main characters have sex, whether they're married or single, in a relationship or "just friends." People talk about sex at work. They dress provocatively in public. It's on billboards and in video games and books. In short, sex is everywhere. But one of the most inappropriate places to be infiltrated by our culture's obsession with all things sexual is our schools. Our schools now actively encourage young children to "experiment" with sex at younger and younger ages, telling them it is normal and even good for them.

There is a reason that there is a push in our culture toward sexual behaviors in children. There are very few things as effective at creating a dependent culture that votes for goodies from the government and that needs abortion “services” on a regular basis than teaching young people to have causal sex early and often. The liberals, and especially those in the abortion industry, have a vested interest in “values-free” sex education (i.e. sex-ed that teaches promiscuity) because it produces the results they want to see in the culture.

On a more spiritual note, there are few things as effective as sexual immorality at turning young people away from God. The pull to partake in sexual sin is strong, especially in a culture that no only tolerates it, but actively encourages it and looks down on those who choose to abstain. And once young people start down the road of sexual sin, the destruction and fallout in their lives and their souls is tremendous. They learn to want detached sex or porn or a multitude of partners rather than the fidelity of marriage. They develop a taste for ever more debased activities. They seek to fill the emptiness with sensual pleasure. They start to see God, with His rules about sexuality, as a kill-joy rather than a loving Father. They see rules, in general, as merely ways to stop the fun. They can no longer trust that anyone has their best interest at heart, not even God. They become jaded and selfish.

All of this pulls them farther and farther from God and from even wanting to do right. And in the process, they will kill their children through abortion to avoid unwanted consequences. They will divorce, if they do marry, because they no longer know how to be satisfied with one real person. And those children that do survive to be born will be raised in broken homes, deprived of a mother or father, and learning to repeat all the pathological behaviors of their parents and then some.

There’s a reason for the many admonitions against illicit sex in the Bible. Because sex is so entwined with who we are, it has a tremendous power to be used for evil and to deeply harm people and destroy families and children. Used for good, sex is a powerful force to bind families together – husbands and wives to each other and to their children – to provide a stable environment suitable for teaching character and morals and truths about God. But outside of marriage, that powerful force is only destructive.