The Book that Made Your World
How the Bible Created the Soul of Western Civilization
by Vishal Mangalwadi
Pub Date 10 May 2011
Discover how the Bible became the West’s source of human rights, justice, heroism, optimism, compassion, capitalism, family, and morality.
Vishal Mangalwadi, an Indian philosopher, takes readers on a historical journey through the last millennium, exploring why and how the Bible reformed Europe and made the West a uniquely thinking civilization: technical and tolerant, scientific and free, just and prosperous. Readers will learn:Why an American president puts his hand on the Bible to take the oath of a secular office What forced British monarchs from Henry VIII to James I to submit to the Bible’s authority Why Bible translators Wycliffe, Luther, and Tyndale became history’s greatest revolutionaries How the Bible globalized western education
In polite society, the mere mention of the Bible often introduces a certain measure of anxiety. A serious discussion on the Bible can bring outright contempt. Therefore, it is most refreshing to encounter this engaging and informed assessment of the Bible's profound impact on the modern world. . . Where Bloom laments the closing of the American mind, Mangalwadi brings a refreshing optimism.
Dr. Stanley Mattson
Founder-President, C. S. Lewis Foundation
I have been a great admirer of Vishal Mangalwadi, and his latest work only enhances my admiration. His uniquely Indian perspective on the centrality of the Bible for the development of the West and its emphasis on human dignity makes The Book that Made Your World essential reading for any thinking Christian. And it serves as a stark warning to the Western world that we forget the Bible and the Christian faith only at great peril to our liberty and even our survival.
Founder of Prison Fellowship and the Colson Center for Christian Worldview
An intriguing and necessary read. While the subject matter is of immense importance to understanding Western civilization, including the Church, rarely have I seen this topic addressed with the breadth of understanding represented here. While many books present a Biblical worldview, few discuss the necessity of its continued importance. At the same time, Vishal references competing "truth claims" of other worldviews, and discusses their inadequacies for providing hope for a world engaged in ever increasing upheaval. I'm persuaded that reading this book will become an important part of the Christian university curriculum.
Dr. Eugene Habecker
President, Taylor University, Upland, Indiana
This is an extremely significant piece of work with huge global implications. For too long now the West has flirted with a Naturalistic worldview that has jeopardized the most sacred aspects of life and living. If the trend to attack the Bible continues in halls of learning and in institutions that shape Western culture the cost will be that of self-destruction. Vishal therefore brings a timely message and shows how profoundly and meaningfully the Bible does have the prescription for bringing healing to the nations that have never known human dignity or social, economic, and political freedoms.
Dr. Ravi Zacharias
Author and Speaker
Vishal's book is one of a kind; vast in scope, penetrating in its depth, and prophetic in its message. If we fail to listen and recover the importance of the Bible in personal and public life, then the sun may set on the West. This book is a tract for our times and a must read for anyone concerned with impacting our culture.
Dr. Art Lindsley
Senior Fellow, the C. S. Lewis Institute
Vishal Mangalwadi recounts history in very broad strokes always using his cross-cultural perspectives for highlighting the many benefits of biblical principles in shaping civilization.
Francis A. McAnaney Professor of History Emeritus, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, IN
The Indian perspective is a breath of fascinating fresh air for American readers. I wish and pray that it finds readers willing to have their minds shaken and their hearts, yes their hearts, stirred as well.
James W. Sire
Author and Former President of InterVarsity Press
There is an amnesia epidemic among today's intellectuals. This "forgetfulness" includes denying the Bible's positive influence on the formation of Western Civilization and its distinctive institutions, political contours, and moral vision. The Book That Made Your World examines the Bible's world-changing influence incisively. Its insights give a clear call to remember what has been forgotten. Utilizing a unique global perspective, Vishal Mangalwadi delivers both a vital warning and a clear hope for Western culture.
Dr. Scott B. Key
Professor of Philosophy
California Baptist University
When Alexis de Tocqueville came to the United States, he saw what those who were living here and even those building America could not see because he saw it through French eyes. Indian philosopher Vishal Mangalwadi has lived in India and the United States and visited and taught in many nations. 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. The urgency of our listening has never been greater than today. He sees what made us strong in the past and the consequences of our rejection of Biblical truths in shaping our lives and our nation. May we have ears to hear and eyes to see.
Professor, Claremont Graduate University,
Author of Finding Calcutta
This book is well overdue! If there is one book that has shaped Europe's art, architecture, commerce, education, ethics, family life, freedom, government, healthcare, law, language, literature, music, politics, science, social reform and much more, it is the Bible. Yet Biblical illiteracy is almost universal in Europe today. Ignorance or prejudice has kept the Bible out of school curricula at all levels-with serious consequences. We need Vishal's clear, prophetic, Eastern voice to jolt us back to reality before our rich biblical heritage slips beyond our grasp.
Centre for European Studies, The Netherlands
In this wide-ranging and insightful book, Vishal Mangalwadi not only enables us to see from his special perspective the significance of the Bible in establishing many of the blessing of Western culture that we too easily take for granted, but also to see more clearly the dangers involved in turning away from a biblical worldview. I learned much and am grateful not only for the cultural insight it provides but the gratitude it engendered for God's Word. I heartily recommend it to all who want fresh eyes to see and a heart to care about the world to which the Lord has called us.
Trinity Evangelical Free Church, Redlands, CA
Place this book at the top of your "must read stack" or Kindle queue. You will find yourself cheering as the Bible receives the credit it deserves. Vishal's unique view of Western Civilization through the lens of the East is brilliant!
Dr. Jan D. Hettinga
Author and Pastor, Seattle, WA
C.S. Lewis said every age has its own "outlook." Every age is more "right" than predecessors on certain issues and, at the same time, more wrong on others. Where each age tends to be most prone to error is on "assumptions" so deeply embedded in the prevailing climate of opinion that they have become "transparent." So it is with 21st century Western civilization--an era so invested in skepticism and subjectivism that we have lost sight of the foundational pillars of our unprecedented success. Alexis de Tocqueville was a European peering in at American democracy during the 1830s. In the same way, Vishal Mangalwadi stands outside Western civilization today and peers in with eyes enriched by studies in Eastern thought and a perceptiveness unspoiled by Western nihilism. He sees what we apparently no longer see-that Western "exceptionalism" has its taproot in The Bible, and warns us of the coming cultural demise. This book must be read!
President, NORGANIX Biosecurity and Director, The Areopagus
Vishal Mangalwadi offers a refreshingly different perspective from what students are taught about what has made America such a source of hope, freedom, and productivity. He explains that American became a shining light because its founding citizens read and reread one book. Neglect that book, he warns, and the light will dim.
Many modern intellectuals have ridiculed the Bible so loudly and so long that much of the American public is not even aware of its indispensable role in the making of our unique civilization. In The Book That Made Your World it is an Indian scholar that turns the tables on Western secularists, shining the light of truth. I believe this compelling and illuminating scholarship will serve as an effective textbook for years to come.
Dr. Mark J Harris
President, Business for Community Foundation
The Book That Made Your World reinforces my 8-year-old assessment that Vishal Mangalwadi understands America better than our own leaders do.
Hugh Maclellan, Jr
The Maclellan Foundation, Inc.
As he now turns his discerning eye toward cultural shift in the West, plan on discovering moving history you wish you were exposed to in school, page turning prose that captures the past in epic significance and hope that could only be expressed by one who has tasted the nature of the God who creates, cares for and loves people, many of whom now face the ultimate challenge.
Communication Consultant, New York
From childhood, I have wondered what made the West so rich and powerful. Having investigated this in a disorganised way over several decades, I am stunned by Dr Mangalwadi's systematic, clear, and easily-understandable explanation. Though I do not agree with everything he writes, I think every person who wants to understand the modern world must read this book. It explains not only what made the West great, but also why it is falling, and implies what needs to be done to steer globalisation away from its current volatility, vulnerability and unfairness, in order to build an environmentally-responsible, stable, prosperous, and humane global system.
Professor Prabhu Guptara
Executive Director, Organisational Development, Wolfsberg
Freeman of the City of London and of the Worshipful Company of Information Technologists, and Chartered Fellow of the of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development; Fellow: of the Institute of Directors, of the Royal Commonwealth Society, and of the Royal Society for the Encouragement of the Arts Commerce and Manufactures - Switzerland
This is a highly accessible book, part spiritual autobiography, part intellectual history, part prophetic warning to the declining West. Mangalwadi's perspective is that of a widely-read Christian from the 'Global South.' From it he provides a sober, unflattering assessment of our identity crisis, showing how it results from an under-nourished, severely atrophied world-view, increasingly divorced as we are from the biblical foundation that once gave us both coherence and a self transcending sense of purpose.
David Lyle Jeffrey, PhD., FRSC
Distinguished Professor of Literature and the Humanities (Honors College)
Distinguished Senior Fellow and Director of Manuscript Research in Scripture and Tradition,
Institute for Studies in Religion, Baylor University
Guest Professor, Peking University, Beijing
A small change in direction could have altered the Titanic's fate. Many are seeing the West headed towards catastrophe, but this highly readable, Eastern overview of our history could reshape our future.
Dr. David McDonald
HealthTeams International and Mars Hill Foundation, WA
After the seismic shocks of the recent financial crisis (the after effects of which are still unknown) I know no other book I would rather have anyone read. Not since Francis Schaeffer's ‘How Should we then Live?' in 1977 have we had so lucid and far-ranging an explanation of what troubles the global community. The author's scholarship and intellectual penetration are everywhere apparent, yet never at the expense of a simple, straightforward and even disarming narrative. I can't recommend it too highly.
Ranald Macaulay MA (Cantab)
Founder of ‘Christian Heritage', Cambridge, England
The condition of a society, good or bad, is the outflow of communal character-of what the usual citizen is prepared to do as if it were obviously right, and is prepared to sacrifice for if necessary. That communal character, in turn, arises out of a system of ideas and beliefs about what is real and what is good. The system of ideas and beliefs that gave rise to and sustained the "Western" world has its unique source in the Bible and in traditions arising out of it. Devotion to truth, to the common good and to the good of every individual, and-within that framework-freedom to live as one chooses, has never in world history had another foundation than the Bible. Look and see. The failure of contemporary education and intelligence is nowhere more manifest than in the appalling ignorance of "leaders" about the true foundation of our ideals and practices of public order and private well-being. With solid, detailed information, clarity of presentation, and logical force, Vishal Mangalwadi enables anyone willing to see how our "Western" world depends entirely upon what the Bible, and it alone, teaches about reality and how to live. We must be aware of that dependence, and of the manifold follies of well-meaning people who, for around two centuries now, have tried to set the Christian outcome upon a secular or non-Christian basis. At this point our institutions are lost. It is time for the prophet. Here we have one.
Professor of Philosophy
University of Southern California, Los Angeles