Richard's interested in universalism as a means to theodicy, and posted about it. But I was really struck by this bit he quoted from Moltmann's Trinity and Kingdom:
The question of theodicy is not a speculative question; it is a critical one. It is the all-embracing eschatological question. It is not purely theoretical, for it cannot be answered with any new theory about the existing world. It is a practical question which will only be answered through experience of the new world in which 'God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.' It is not really a question at all, in the sense of something we can ask or not ask, like other questions. It is the open wound of life in this world. It is the real task of faith and theology to make it possible for us to survive, to go on living, with this open wound. The person who believes will not rest content with any slickly explanatory answer to the theodicy question. And he will also resist any attempts to soften the question down. The more a person believes, the more deeply he experiences pain over the suffering in the world, and the more passionately he asks about God and the new creation.
"It is not purely theoretical, for it cannot be answered with any new theory about the existing world." Put another way: theodicy is about reconciling our experience of the world with the claims people are making about God. Good theodicy is an effort to develop a living, harmonious understanding of the universe, rather than a manufactured, dead one, riddled with contradictions and conflicts.