I was impressed by a recent (July) Christianity Today interview with Rev. Dr. David Zac Niringiye, an African Bishop of a church in Uganda.
In responding to a question about how our Western churches can become truly countercultural, he said we need to begin by reading our Bible differently. He says we North Americans love the "Great Commission" passage because we read, "go and make disciples", and think, "go and fix." As the Bishop says,
But when read from the centre of power, that passage simply reinforces the illusion that it’s about us, that we are in charge.
He suggests we adopt instead, the "great invitation" of Jesus. That is, his "come and see", and "I will make you".
He’s right. When we learn to read the Bible from the perspective of the weak, the hungry, the disabled, the economic outcasts, the immigrant workers, it is possible to break down our barriers of us and them, our tribalism, our hidden racism. And where barriers are broken, people are touched.
But we will only learn to read scripture from this perspective by befriending those "on the outside". Willingly de-centreing ourselves, going beyond or outside of our "culture" in this way, of course, is truly countercultural.