Answer to the Problem of Evil
- I. Judgment as
the Saving Work of Christ
the problem of God in an evil world
The first-century's answer to theodicy: Messiah
Later Christianity: Apocalypticism fades, salvation separated
Judgment is part of salvation (1 Cor. 3:12-15, 1 Peter 3:18-22,
Dame West Front, Celtic
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,
- 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.
Until then, the Church waits (Rev. 6:10 again) for the
Nonretaliation anticipates God's judgment of the world (Ro. 12:19-21)
(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,
VI. Advent and God's Glorification
The glory of a superhero? (Rev. 19:11-16, Rev. 14:14, Phil.
The crucified glory of the lamb that was slain (Rev. 5-14)
The last word is healing and life, not judgment and wrath (Rev.