Siu Fung Wu | Participating in Christ’s Sufferings and Transformation of Humanity
Siu Fung Wu and Graham Hill discuss the theme of suffering in Romans.
This is the theme of Siu Fung Wu’s book, Suffering in Romans: “Most of the Jesus-followers in Rome would have been familiar with socioeconomic hardship. Suffering was a daily reality either for themselves or for someone they knew. Many lived below or just above subsistence level. Some were slaves, homeless, or chronically sick. Followers of Christ might have experienced persecution because of their refusal to take part in the local religious festivals. Suffering is, of course, a significant theme in Rom 5:1-11 and 8:17, 18-39. Paul mentions various types of affliction many times in these texts. How might Paul’s audience have understood them? In Suffering in Romans Siu Fung Wu argues that Paul speaks of the vocation of the Jesus-followers to participate in Christ’s suffering, with the purpose that they may be glorified with him. Indeed, their identification with Christ’s suffering is an integral part of God’s project of transforming humanity and renewing creation. It is in their faithful suffering that Christ-followers participate in God’s triumph over evil. This is counter-intuitive, because most people think that victory is won by power and strength. Yet the children of God partake in his cosmic victory by their suffering, aided by the Spirit and the hope of glory.”
Originally from East Asia, Siu Fung Wu has lived in Melbourne for more than 25 years. He worked in IT before he became a pastor in an inner-city church. After that, he spent seven years in the aid and development sector, working as a global education officer. He completed his PhD a couple of years ago, and a revised version of his thesis is now published. It is called Suffering in Romans.
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