- Format: Kindle Edition
- File Size: 896 KB
- Print Length: 466 pages
- Simultaneous Device Usage: Up to 5 simultaneous devices, per publisher limits
- Publisher: Thomas Nelson (24 October 2012)
- Sold by: HarperCollins Publishing (AU)
- Language: English
- ASIN: B004Z70982
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Customer Reviews: 292 customer ratings
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #64,639 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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The Book that Made Your World: How the Bible Created the Soul of Western Civilization Kindle Edition
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About the Author
Vishal Mangalwadi, LLD, was born and raised in India. He studied Eastern religion and philosophy in India, Hindu ashrams, and at L'Abri Fellowship in Switzerland. He is a dynamic and engaging speaker who has lectured in thirty-five countries. He is a social reformer, political columnist, and author of fourteen books. Christianity Today calls him ""India's foremost Christian intellectual.""
"This is an extremely significant piece of work with huge global implications. Vishal brings a timely message."-- "Ravi Zacharias, author of Walking from East to West"
"Mangalwadi recounts history in very broad strokes, always using his cross-cultural perspectives for highlighting the many benefits of biblical principles in shaping civilization."-- "George Masden, author of Fundamentalism and American Culture"
"This book is a tract for our times and a must-read for anyone concerned with impacting our culture."-- "Art Lindsley, author of C. S. Lewis' Case for Christ"
"Dr. Mangalwadi has become the new eyes to the West. Not unlike de Tocqueville's, his interpretation of the importance of the biblical truths embedded in the Judeo-Christian Bible to the growth of the West is critical."-- "Mary Poplin, author of Finding Calcutta"
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This is a well-structured work that build the case on solid historical fact. He gives credit where it is due and levels criticism where it is justified.
My main criticism is the lack of an abstract for each chapter or section. In a number of instances, I got his point fairly quickly and didn't need to read his detailed justification for it but was almost forced to read every word for fear of missing another major point. I know that the author is an academic and I know that academic works need to fully reference their sources material and that all arguments need to be fully developed and justified. From an academic perspective, this is a scholarly work that achieves its goals. The casual reader, however, will find this a daunting read at 422 pages which may be counterproductive as there is much to be gained from embracing the central themes of his thesis.
I have enjoyed this immensely and will reference it broadly in my own attempts as a Christian apologist.
A great read for any consummate student of history looking for a perspective unblinkered by the secular lens.
Top international reviews
By the 1960s philosophers realised that logic was incapable of discovering truth. Actually, logic arose as a result of revealed truth, says Mangalwadi in this fascinating book. The Bible being such, he tells us, as to suggest that the world is logical, became an encouragement for enlightenment thinkers to test its sincerity. That the greatest enlightenment thinkers were deeply Christian was no coincidence.
Contemporary Western man tends to assume that matter can exist independently of thought. Surprisingly, according to Mangalwadi, this is in global historical terms, a new notion. Most people around the world have always found ‘nature’ to be enchanted. The Bible, Mangalwadi tells us, has provided the foundation for its disenchantment. Christianity, and not atheism, resulted in the development of science. If it were atheism, then why didn’t the Chinese become the first to develop science? Before the time of science, many uses of technology arose from a Biblical high valuation of human dignity. Foundational technology was invented in monasteries.
Today’s understanding that a ‘hero’ is he who sacrifices himself for the good of others has not always been there. The mediaeval hero was the knight who provoked warfare so as to kill in battle. The church turned this around, linking heroism with compassion. Compassion is America’s speciality, according to Mangalwadi. It arises from a view of love that has arisen from the Bible.
The church took over a great deal of the original power of the Roman Empire. For all its weaknesses and problems, the church of Christendom achieved an unmatched legitimacy. Christian believers motivated by what God first did for them have for centuries been a massive force moving civilisations away from darkness and towards light.
Secularists have been, and are, deceiving us, suggests Mangalwadi. What our kids are learning in the Western school curriculum can be deception and lies. Giving secularism the credit for initiating great ideas like freedom and equality has been a deception. Secularism will in due course itself be seen as a transitory deception – a mere blip in the history of the world.
Those who credit the rise of logical and rational thought to Greek philosophers are only half right. It was only Christians who could interpret Aristotle and other great philosophers without the chains of animism. The same Christians could then utilise their insights to bring a real betterment to human existence. “Christian education … developed knowledge in small increments, like a puzzle, because God had already given us the big picture” Mangalwadi tells us (page 219). So then science was enabled by the Bible, because the Bible gives a preview of a natural orderliness waiting to be discovered. The primary transmitters of education and its benefits around the world have been those who have taken the Bible very seriously.
Not to do one’s utmost to share the Bible with them is condemning contemporary primitive people to live in the Stone Age, says Mangalwadi. What he knows of ‘the Stone Age’ is not pleasant. It takes a particularly callous person to say that tribe X should be left alone. It takes love and compassion to share the Word of God with them.
What of the future? Mangalwadi’s question regarding the West is: “will it relapse into a new dark age or humble itself before the Word of the Almighty God” (p401)? This book, while essentially historical, ranges widely over academic disciplines. It is a highly recommended read to historians, to Christians, and especially to who have been deceived by in recent centuries by the false hegemonic claims of secularism. Thank you Mangalwadi for being bold enough to speak out truth.
Read this book and prepare to have your eyes opened!