I. Judgment as the Saving Work of Christ Theodicy describes the problem of God in an evil world.
The first-century's answer to theodicy is Messiah.
Later Christianity: As apocalypticism fades, salvation is separated from judgment.
Yet judgment is part of salvation (1 Cor 3:12-15, 1 Pet 3:18-22, Ps 46).
II. Judgment Day: Culmination of Office and Atonement
Christ is all creation's apocalyptic prophet (Mark 13, Matt 25:31-46, Rev 5:1-5, 9-13), interceding priest, and ruling King (Rev 5:9-13, Rev 22:5).
In the meantime, we 'enjoy' moments of justice in an unjust world:
Expulsion from Eden, deliverances, Caesar's sword (Rom 13), Jesus' resurrection, Church discipline.
III. We Participate (and Don't) in Judgment ...
in birth, into sinfulness, the stoicheia (Gal 4:3), and the heritage of God's judgments;
in baptism, in Jesus' being judged and vindicated;
in the life of the Church, in mutual accountability (1 Cor 5, Matt 18); and
on the Last Day, by our relationship with Jesus and our works in him
(2 Cor 5:10, Luke 12:8-9, Matt 25).
Jesus grants believers a share in his judgment (1 Cor 6:3, Rev 6:10).
IV. Advent, the Sequel: Why the Wait?
Until then, the Church waits (Rev 6:10 again) for the world's judgment.
Nonretaliation anticipates God's judgment of the world (Rom 12:19-21).
Advent is a season of mercy and mission (Jonah 3:4, 4:1-2) to victims and oppressors.
God's mercy both raises and answers the problem of evil (Jonah 4:11).
Delay (2 Pet 3:9-10, Acts 1:11) implies neither indifference nor universalism.
Advent describes our understanding of God as truly just, righteous, and holy:
Theologia gloriae: The glory of a superhero? (Rev 19:11-16, Rev 14:14, Phil 2:11). Theologia crucis: The slain lamb's scars are his glory (Rev 5-14).
Prophetic warnings involve wrath (as abandonment? Rom 1:18 and 1:24), but conclude with healing and life (e.g., Rev 21:1-22:5).