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Ultimate Things: An Orthodox Christian Perspective on the End Times Paperback – Jun 15 2004

4.4 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 300 pages
  • Publisher: Conciliar Pr (May 25 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 096227139X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0962271397
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 1.7 x 21.6 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 23 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #660,319 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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By A Customer on Feb. 24 2004
Format: Paperback
I was disappointed after reading this book, but it was the first Orthodox resource I had come across that dealt with the end times. Sadly, it is so rooted in the ethos of the 20th century that the approach of the author was indistinguishable from fundamentalist Protestant writers. The insistence that THESE are the last days, and that THESE are the signs which prove it is symptomatic of the apocalyptic sectarian thinking which has characterized a small but vocal part of American Christianity over the past 150 years. While no Southern Baptist would identify the "restraining power" spoken of in 2 Thes. 2 with the holy martyr Tsar Nicholas II of Russia, the specificity of this identification is one which has been shunned by the Orthodox Church. It has been over 85 years since the Bolshevik Revolution. How long do we have to wait before deciding that this event, tragic as it was, was not the beginning of the end?
A much better book on the subject is "A Second Look at the Second Coming: Sorting Through the Speculations" by T. L. Frazier. It exposes the heretical teachings behind millenarianism, Zionism, the "rapture," dispensationalism, and numerology but it also presents a positive and hopeful outlook, calling us all to a joyful penitence in light of our Lord's glorious second coming.
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Format: Paperback
_Ultimate Things: An Orthodox Perspective on the End Times_ by Dennis Engleman is an outline of the rise of the Antichrist and the coming Apocalypse. This book is not what I would consider the most academic treatment of the topic, but it provides a rough outline and for the most part cites contemporary sources. It does have some references to "apocryphal" texts such as the Gospel of Nicodemus and the Apocalypse of Elijah. _Ultimate Things_ is written as a response to the pre-tribulation rapture propaganda so widespread in the Christian churches in America today. The question is what did the ancient Fathers of the Church understand and teach of the coming of the Antichrist? How does it differ from modern day interpretations? A key discrepancy is of the idea of suffering for Christ in the Church. The "rapture" will supposedly whisk away all true Christian believers and leave the world's unbelievers to suffer God's wrath with the rule of the Antichrist for three and a half years. This is contrasted to the traditional Orthodox teaching where the Church is severely persecuted under the Antichrist and Christ returns at the end of time and Judgement Day commences. Chiliasm is the ancient heresy of a literal thousand-year reign of Christ over the earth after his Second Coming. This heresy is dangerous because not only will the "rapture" not happen but the man who will reign posing as the Savior of the World will mimic Christ, creating a one world government with signs and wonders, "deceiving even the elect." St. Paul refers to the satanic force that is hurtling the world to Apocalypse as the "mystery of iniquity." Fr. Seraphim Rose is cited explaining that "mystery" in this sense is something that is not working out in the open, but exercising a covert, unseen influence.Read more ›
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Format: Paperback
_Ultimate Things_ by Dennis E. Engleman is a book dealing with the End Times from the perspective of an Orthodox Christian. Basing his study on traditional prophetic writings of the Church Fathers as well as from Sacred Scripture, in particular the writings of the prophets and the Books of Daniel and Revelation, Engleman shows how modern events bear out the prescriptions described in prophecy and explains the End of Days in terms understandable to the Orthodox Christian. Engleman focuses on the "Last Christians", those Christians who will be living during the End Times. During the End Times the church will dwindle in size because of mass apostasy and the Christians will be identified in the catacombs, tiny islands bearing the traditional marks of oneness, holiness, catholicity, and apostolicity or Christ's true church. Engleman considers the Tsars to have been true Christian rulers, and interprets the Last Tsar, Tsar Nicholas II, as "the one who restrains the mystery of lawlessness" from 2 Thessalonians. For Engleman and for Orthodox Christians, Moscow represents the "Third Rome", and the rise of the communist tyranny in Russia is an extremely troublesome event heralding the imminent apocalypse, in which the armies of "Gog and Magog" shall do battle. With the fall of communism in Russia during the 1990s the possibility of a New World Order has been put forth, and such a thing promises to achieve the Kingdom of Antichrist upon the Earth. The return of the Jews to Israel, the Holy Land, is a second event with deep historic and apocalyptic consequences. While the Jews have rejected Christ (the Pharisees calling for his crucifixion before Pilate), it is written that in the last days they will be converted.Read more ›
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Format: Paperback
Dennis Engleman has written a first-class survey of Orthodox teaching on the End Times in "Ultimate Things." The fact that he presents his facts in a simple, easy to read format makes it just that much better. Furthermore, Dennis is unafraid to take an unequivocal stand on such controversial issues as Tsar St. Nicholas II being the "restraining power" of II Thessalonians 2:7 (which indeed he was, in my opinion--and those of other Orthodox luminaries of our time such as St. John Maximovitch and Fr. Seraphim Rose). This shows that Mr. Engleman has a greater interest in Truth than fads, which is the downfall of many other books in this genre. To me, this book towers over others in its class, and I would highly recommend it. Fr. Hopko (for whom I have a very high respect) takes issue with Mr. Engleman on some subjects, such as the question of the Tsar-Martyr Nicholas II as the "restraining power" (sadly, without providing any alternate explanation of his own for the reader to consider). However, I still would recommend this book as the first option for readers (Orthodox or not) interested in this vital subject.
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