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A Second Look at the Second Coming: Sorting Through the Speculations [Paperback]

By T. L. Frazier (Author) & A. J. Bernstein (Foreword by)
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Item description for A Second Look at the Second Coming: Sorting Through the Speculations by T. L. Frazier & A. J. Bernstein...

An Eastern Orthodox Christian perspective on eschatology. Read a balanced, well-researched treatment of the end times, interpreted from the Christian East by faithful Orthodox saints, martyrs, and Spirit-filled Fathers of the Faith. Historic Christian teaching on the rapture, the millennium, the state of Israel, and the role of the Church in the last days is something quite different from what is commonly taught in the pop religion of today's evangelicalism.

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Conciliar Press
Pages   325
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.48" Width: 5.54" Height: 0.8"
Weight:   1.01 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   May 25, 2005
Publisher   Conciliar Press
ISBN  1888212144  
ISBN13  9781888212143  

Availability  128 units.
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  1. Sorting Through the Speculations

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Product Categories

1Books > Special Features > New & Used Textbooks > Humanities > Religious Studies > Christianity
2Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Orthodoxy
3Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Theology > Eschatology
4Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Theology > Prophecy

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Reviews - What do customers think about A Second Look at the Second Coming?

Read it!  Jun 3, 2007
This book is a must-read for anyone who is interested in learning about Orthodox eschatology, the Rapture, Dispensationalism, or Christian Zionism. The only real complaint I have is that Frazier takes a rather snide, resentful, sometimes arrogant tone when addressing certain points. But, he is well organized and provides information essential to American Christians who want to learn more about the end-times.

I have also read "Ultimate Things" (see another reviewer's reference above). In my opinion, Frazier's book is superior. The reviewer above felt that Frazier "left out" something that Engleman included, namely the interpretation that Russia figures centrally into certain references.
While many Orthodox Christians may agree with Engleman, a lot of us that don't come from the Russian jurisdiction are not so ready to fill in all the blanks the same way he does. What the above reviewer sees as fact, I found strange, and it is the only part of Engleman's book I think is a little off-center. Perhaps Frazier could have included Engleman's interpretation as a possibility, but I think it better to seek the opinion of the Church as a whole before proclaiming it to be factual.

Overall, "A Second Look" is a wonderful book. I recommend it to anyone.

Presents one-sided Eastern Orthodox view of Israel  Jul 25, 2006
The book is tendentious and polemical, very selective in its use of both biblical and historical evidence, and littered with unwarranted ad hominem snipes at those who endorse the view that national Israel constitutes a theologically potent reality. It is simply false, as the author repeatedly asserts and implies, that all those who take national Israel seriously as a potent theological reality are uneducated sensationalists. A perusal of monumental works by Robert L. Thomas and Arnold G. Fruchtenbaum, to name just two contemporary examples, ought to dispel such notions very quickly.

In view of the stress that Eastern Orthodoxy places on the Fathers and Tradition, a particularly noteworthy example of the one-sided use of evidence I am talking about is the book's misrepresentation of the prominence of Chiliasm in the Early Church. As has been documented by serious Protestant historians of all millenial persuasions for generations, the Early Church of the first three centuries was substantially Chiliastic. In fact, the DECRETUM GELASIANUM, which is a too-little known record of interpretations that the Nicene Fathers place on the Nicene Creed, demonstrates this reality to be true as late as the Council of Nicea, since the Fathers' interpretation of the words "His Kingdom shall have no end" is decidedly Chiliastic. It is also a matter of record that a crucial "not" in words of Justin Martyr testifying to the prevalence of Chiliasm in his day was altered by later, anti-chiliastic editors (the "not" being either added or omitted from the original - I forget which) to make him appear to be saying the opposite - i.e., that Chiliasm was NOT prevalent. (For more details on these matters, and on Chiliasm in the Early Church, cf. G. N. H. Peters, THE THEOCRATIC KINGDOM, Vol. I., who in turn cites many eminent and often anti-chiliastic historians as coming to the same conclusion.)

Overall, I would say the book is useful insofar as it makes manifest the weakness and one-sidedness of the traditional Eastern Orthodox view on matters relating to the theological significance of national Israel.
Taking on the Sensationalists  May 16, 2006
Any Christian studying eschatology will encounter the theological system known as dispensationalism. Enter any Christian bookstore and survey the books on endtimes themes and the vast majority will likely be dispnesationalist titles. One might easily conclude that it is the Church's traditional eschatological position.

Thus it may come as a shock that dispensationalism is a novel doctrine without historical support. Furthermore, it does not, as its backers claim, take the Bible literally but rather forces contextually isolated Scripture passages into a system with little concern for original intent. Having its origins in the eighteenth century, it gained a foothold among Fundamentalists with their acceptance of the Scofield Reference Bible and then in wider Protestant circles with the publication of Hal Lindsay's The Late Great Planet Earth. Since then, it has grown even more pervasive through the wide popularity of the Left Behind novels by Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins.

Into this mess steps T. L. Frazier of the Eastern Orthodox Church. In A Second Look at the Second Coming, Frazier provides a powerful critique of dispensationalism that shows the reader the Scriptural missteps, newspaper exegesis, historical ignorance, and cultural parochialism at its core. Not only does he succeed in laying waste the entire system, but he also places in contrast the eschatological understanding of the Church Fathers. Their wise and humble council stands in sharp contrast to the lurid sensationalism championed by today's "prophecy teachers."

Frazier begins with a discussion of the cultural upheaval that tool place in the late 1960s and provided dispensationalism a receptive audience. In this context, Lindsay's The Late Great Planet Earth is just another of the gloom and doom books then a mainstay of popular culture. Lindsay thus stood in the midst of a boom in doomsday scenarios.

Frazier then outlines the history of eschatalogical thought. This serves to demonstrate the complete novelty of dispensational beliefs. Dispensationalist authors will frequently point to certain early Church Fathers as supporting their views, but Frazier quickly dispels this myth. While Fathers such as St. Irenaeus and St. Justin Martyr did have premillennialist views (dispensationalism has a premillennialist orientation), they were most definitely not dispensationlists. Their views (called historic premillennialism) did not entertain dispensationalist distinctives such as a rapture of the Church into heaven prior to the tribulation so God can again deal with the Jewish people. The early premillennialists believed the Church was the true spiritual Israel built upon the faithful remnant of Jews who had accepted Jesus as their Messiah and God's only dealing with the Jews in the future would be to call them to the Church. Furthermore, they held the Church would not be raptured into heaven but endure the tribulation under God's protection after which Christ would return to establish His kingdom. Such a straightforward view is a far cry from the exegetical and logical gymnastics the dispensationalists engage in to make their convoluted system work.

Having demonstrated that the dispensationalism has no historical basis, Frazier then proceeds to prove it has no basis in Holy Scripture either. Beginning with the New Testament teaching of the Church as spiritual Israel, he clearly lays out the misreadings of Holy Scripture and the bizarre twists and turns the theology must take in order to make this strange system make any sense at all. Thus we end up with the unjustified dividing of eschatological passages into "rapture" and "second coming" based upon their system with no basis in either the text or the historical understanding of the Church. In fact, as Frazier points out, there is no passage any dispensationalist can point two where it is mentioned that Jesus will come back twice. Without the preexisting assumptions of their system, it is doubtful anyone would even consider it a possibility.

The dispensationalist rendering of the Church as a parenthesis between God's dealings with national Israel comes in for severe criticism Not only does it do violence to the text of Holy Scripture, but ends up with our standing before God judged by our relationship with a secular nation instead of our relationship with Christ. Without their system, the confusion evaporates.

Frazier then moves on to confront the dispensationalists' best arguments directly. In his analysis, he exposes their ignorance of Church history, complete misreading of apocalyptic symbolism, and their confusion over the literary genres that make up the Holy Scriptures and how each should be approached. Such poor exegetical methodology is emblematic of dispensationalism and inevitably leads to misunderstandings of original meaning and intent.

Expanding on this theme, Frazier points out how the dispensationalists' erroneous conclusions lead to fruitless speculations attempting to correspond current events to Scriptural prophecies and a defeatist orientation that undermines the Christian's responsibility to his fellow man. Even worse, when their predictions fail to come to fruition, they bring the Gospel into disrepute and undermine the faith of those Christians who equate this system with Biblical truth.

Frazier's main plea throughout is that in approaching such a difficult text as the Apocalypse of St. John (often called the Book of Revelation), we should seek the wisdom of the early Church who were the closest to the Apostles' teaching. To this end, he closes with an interpretation that is in keeping with the historic beliefs of the Church. He does not claim it to be the only such interpretation - there were disagreement on details in the early Church as there are now - but it is one that makes sense in the Scriptural and historical context of the Church.

The historic Churches have until recently largely ignored dispensationalism and underestimated the confusion it would cause for their own faithful. Thankfully, authors have come forward to set the record straight. As one of the earliest of these efforts, A Second Look at the Second Coming set a high standard. It is absolutely essential reading for any Christian interested in eschatology.

An ABSOLUTE MUST read for anyone curious about "End Times."  Oct 31, 2003
The world is going crazy with the "End Times" mania, and T.L. Frazier incorporates the Apostolic teachings of what the original Christian Church has to say on the subject.

The book is indeed a valuable blessing from God, as so many hungry people are being led astray with the nonsensical teachings of Hal Lindsey, Zola Levitt, and John Hagee (and unfortunately, countless others). There is a reason why the Lord tells us that we will never know when He will return again, only God in Heaven does. Why we men continue to try to figure out God's will, I will never know. But this book will help us understand that speculation on the frantic topic is merely a distraction, and non-scriptural.

This book is an excellent guide to searching the scriptures for God's true feeling on man's quest to BE God, and to debunk the blind leading the blind. Do yourself a favor and read this book with an open heart. You will indeed be blessed! Order fast - the rumor is that this book will not be available long!

Good as far as it goes--but something is missing  Dec 29, 2002
Mr. Frazier has written an excellent book, most especially in debunking the pop-culture viewpoints featured in books like "The Late Great Planet Earth" and so forth. However, as an Orthodox student (though not necessarily a very learned one) of the End Times, I felt that he left one very crucial element out. On page 161 of his book, Mr. Frazier states that nobody knows exactly who the "restraining power" is. There are many Orthodox Christians, myself included, who would dispute him on this. Mr. Dennis Engleman, author of "Ultimate Things," takes the viewpoint (which I also share) that the last Russian Tsar, the newly-canonized St. Nicholas II, was the "restraining power," whose removal in 1917 was a fulfillment of the prophecy in II Thessalonians 2:7. If we admit that St. John Chrysostom and other Holy Fathers took the Roman Emperor/Empire as the "restraining power," then why should we look for any other interpretation? Certainly there were enough Orthodox saints and other luminaries over the last several centuries who saw Russia as the "Third Rome" to at least take this under consideration.

It is difficult to imagine (though it is certainly possible) that a man of Mr. Frazier's caliber would not know of this interpretation (also held by St. John Maximovitch of San Francisco and other Orthodox luminaries of our time), and yet he never even seems to address it. This, for me, made the book much less than it might have been. It is still an excellent book as far as it goes, but I wish he had at least chosen to address that crucial issue. While I would recommend Engleman's book as the best on this subject that I have read to date, I would still also recommend reading this one after reading Engleman's.


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