Advent's Answer to the Problem of Evil
 
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: Messiah
Later Christianity: Apocalypticism fades, salvation separated from judgment
Judgment is part of salvation (1 Cor. 3:12-15, 1 Peter 3:18-22, Ps. 46)
Notre Dame West Front, Celtic high cross

II. Judgment Day: Culmination of the Threefold Office
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)

III. Justice Before Judgment Day?
Moments of justice in an unjust world:
Expulsion from Eden, Jesus' resurrection, Church discipline

IV. Participation and Nonparticipation in Judgment
In birth, into sinfulness 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)
On the Last Day, by our relationship with Jesus and our works in him
(2 Cor. 5:10, Luke 12:8-9, Matt. 25)
Result: Eternal presence or eternal separation
Jesus grants believers a share in his judgment (1 Cor. 6:3, Rev. 6:10)
Until then, the Church waits (Rev. 6:10 again) for the world's judgment
Nonretaliation anticipates God's judgment of the world (Ro. 12:19-21)

V.
Advent (part 2): Why the Wait?
(see also "Advent's Answer to the Problem of Evil")
Advent is a season of mercy and mission (Jonah 3:4, 4:1-2) to oppressors
God's mercy raises, and answers, the problem of evil (Jonah 4:11)
God's mercy rebounds to God's justice
Procrastination (2 Pet. 3:9-10, Acts 1:11) is not universalism
Advent describes our understanding of God as truly just, righteous, and holy

VI. Advent and God's Glorification
The glory of a superhero? (Rev. 19:11-16, Rev. 14:14, Phil. 2:11)
The crucified glory of the lamb that was slain (Rev. 5-14)
The last word is healing and life, not judgment and wrath (Rev. 21:1-22:5)