A couple of blog entries back, I wrote that a good translation must be faithful to the original and natural to the reader. That principle not only works for a written translation of a text, but the same also applies when it comes to communicating and living out the gospel. We have to work hard at balancing faithfulness to the gospel and relevance to our culture.
That balance comes right out of our identity as Christians. In writing to first century Christians, Peter says: Dear friends, I urge you, as foreigners and exiles…
What Peter has in mind cannot be completely conveyed by any one English word. Our status can be more accurately understood as resident aliens.
On the one hand, we are residents and not tourists. We live here. You could say that we have our cultural green cards so we belong and we should act like we belong. We are to be part of the society, culture and community in which we live. We are to know the language. We are to hold jobs and work well. We are to make friends and be good neighbors right where we live.