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Second Thoughts about the Second Coming

Understanding the End Times, Our Future, and Christian Hope

Availability:
Available for Backorder
Publisher:
Westminster John Knox Press
Publication Date:
2/28/2023
ISBN:
9780664268060
Pages:
194
Trim Size
5.5 x 8.5
Product Type:
Paper

Various ideas float around about the subject of last things, leading many Christians to conclude that they don’t know what to think about the subject. Yet at the core of the Christian doctrine of last things lies two simple and complementary hopes: that God ever and always offers hope for our individual futures and for the future of the whole world.

In this helpful book, Allen and Cornwall explain how we don’t have to subscribe to sensationalist theories or sketchy interpretations to believe in Christian hope. They walk the reader through the central biblical teachings on last things and then show the ways the church has interpreted those teachings throughout the centuries. In a respectful way, the authors demonstrate that end-time beliefs centered on the Rapture came into existence only recently, and they then offer several more life-affirming, contemporary interpretations as alternatives.

The book includes a study guide and web-based appendixes designed to help pastors develop both topical and lectionary-based sermon series on Christian hope.

You can access free digital preaching resources created by the authors to help preachers engage the second coming in the pulpit, including multiple sermon series options as well as approaches for those preaching from the Revised Common Lectionary. These can be found at www.wjkbooks.com/SecondComing.

Ronald J. Allen is Professor Emeritus of Preaching and Gospels and Letters at Christian Theological Seminary in Indianapolis, Indiana. He has written or edited more than forty books, including A Faith of Your Own: Naming What You Really Believe.


Robert D. Cornwall is a Minister-at-Large for the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), theologian, ecumenical and interfaith leader, police chaplain, and author. He has written numerous books and articles, including Called to Bless: Finding Hope by Reclaiming Our Spiritual Roots. He serves as the editor of Sharing the Practice (the journal of the Academy of Parish Clergy).


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“A brisk, competent review from a mainline Protestant perspective of historic Christian teaching about eschatology and the afterlife. I learned much from this book, including that this area of Christian thought is among the most difficult and muddled. But Second Thoughts about the Second Coming at least brings descriptive clarity. I recommend this book and will keep it on hand as a reference work.” – David P. Gushee, author of After Evangelicalism: The Path to a New Christianity

“Topics of ‘the end times’ and especially Christ’s return have too often been avoided by mainline or progressive Christians. In Second Thoughts about the Second Coming Allen and Cornwall provide confident navigation through this unfamiliar yet important territory.  In their comprehensive look at the second coming, the authors widen the lens to reveal that views about Christ’s return are connected to Christian perspectives on life after death specifically and hope for the future more broadly. Covering biblical, historical, and contemporary perspectives, the look is both deep and wide. Questions at the end of each chapter serve as content review and study guide to help synthesize the wealth of material. Second Thoughts is well worth the read individually and in groups. As our author-guides assure us, our perceptions of the future, including the end times, shape our faithful living now.” –Sharon E. Watkins, Former General Minister and President, Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)

“There are few places where the chasm between popular belief and theological study is as vast as in questions of the second coming. Ron Allen and Robert Cornwall try to bridge this divide through a clear, thoughtful, and open-hearted look at one of the most vexing problems in contemporary Christian life.” –Amy Frykholm, author of Rapture Culture: Left Behind in Evangelical America

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