Second Thoughts about the Second Coming (Paper)

Understanding the End Times, Our Future, and Christian Hope

  • 9780664268060
  • 5.5 x 8.5
  • 194
  • 50.00
  • Paper
  • 0664268064
  • 2/28/2023
  • 7-10 days processing
$ 18.00


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


“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

“The authors manage to take one of the messiest areas of Christian thought and make it accessible to anyone who is interested in the apocalypse and everything this topic influences. Plenty of resources, such as a handy study guide, accompany the book making it perfect for personal reading, congregational study, and/or sermon preparation. No one, not even Allen and Cornwall, knows what the future will hold — but everyone who reads this book will certainly be better equipped to think about it. And just maybe we can even work toward shaping the way it unfolds for the better.” – Jeremy Fuzy, Digital Editor, Word & Way

"The authors present the eschatological theories chronologically, from the biblical text through the Reformation and Enlightenment and into the present day. Allen and Cornwall depict the lively interplay between ideas (e.g., dispensationalism, the kingdom of God, universal restoration), showing how they evolved and shaped each other. With study questions and a glossary at the end, Second Thoughts about the Second Coming is useful for both individual reflection and group study." - The Christian Century

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