I am the poster adult for history on the Christianity Today hallway. I received my B.A. in history, did graduate work in the subject, and was editor of sister publication Christian History before joining the CT staff.

And I'll admit I'm mostly responsible for the screed, "History Is Not Bunk."

Most of my friends respect me for my historical bent—like they do the man who collects insulators or rare thimbles. It's a quaint interest that seems to make very little impact on anyone's life. They, on the other hand, give themselves to teaching political science, or doing ministry, or creating goods and services-things that matter today. They certainly can't be accused of living in the past.

Or can they? The fact is, none of us can live anywhere else. This is an ontological fact. We certainly can't live in the future. And it's nearly impossible to live in the present, because it flits by before we can blink. No, day by day we live in the past, usually the immediate past, but the past nonetheless.

My wife tells me to pick up milk on the way home. Her seemingly present-tense request involving my future action is, in reality, mostly lived in or about the past. All afternoon, I remind myself to fulfill my wife's now historical request, which came to my ears seconds, minutes, and then hours ago. She, of course, phoned me because of the history of our refrigerator, where milk cartons had been quickly drained over the previous day by our children. So I drive in a car that was built in 1997, to a store that has been in business for 20-some years, to a cooler that was stocked that morning, and so on and so forth. Every step I take is a step into the past.

Even a vigorous exchange of opinions, which happens from time to time in our offices, is ...

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