ADVERTISING
 
Saturday, May 26   Sign in or Register
 
Evangelical Focus
 

 
ADVERTISING
 
 
FOLLOW US ON
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Google +
  • Instagram
  • Soundcloud
 

Newsletter
Newsletter, sign up to receive all our News by email.
 

POLL
State and Religion
Should religious symbols be displayed in buildings of the public administration?



SEE MORE POLLS
 

 
TOP 10 MOST VIEWED



Gavin Matthews
1
 

The Book That Made Your World

Mangalwadi’s book ranges effortlessly though history, politics, economics, theology, sociology, and philosophy. His conclusion is cultures that are rooted in the Bible, provide the best environment for human flourishing.

SOLAS MAGAZINE AUTHOR Gavin Matthews 05 MAY 2016 12:10 h GMT+1
Vishal Mangalwadi Vishal Mangalwadi. / Photo: Jesus.ch

Vishal Mangalwadi’s The Book That Made Your World (Thomas Nelson), is by any measure an extraordinary read. 



Growing up in the Indian city of Allahabad, Mangalwadi sensed a disconnect between the predominant interpretation of Christianity, and his experience. Hindu academics such as Arun Shourie described the presence of Christianity in India as a “conspiracy of British Imperialism”, yet Mangalwadi observed that Christianity differed substantially from the colonial legacy. Furthermore, wherever this Christian influence occurred it seemed to foster benefits to the whole community. Seeking to understand this dichotomy, Mangalwadi embarked on a massive research project, exploring the effect that the Bible has on cultures and societies. The results, which are brought together in this volume, are profound.



Mangalwadi’s book ranges effortlessly though history, politics, economics, theology, sociology, and philosophy. His conclusion is cultures that are rooted in the Bible, provide the best environment for human flourishing. He argues, for example, that Indian science was held back by the prevailing belief in “maya” (the irrelevance of the material realm), and only prospered under the influence of a biblical worldview which affirmed that God had created.



In education, he traces the successes of “Western” schooling to their biblical founders, who believed in knowledge, language and equality. He argues that Bible-rooted societies are more just; and presents remarkable evidence correlating such societies to low levels of corruption – which in turn facilitates economic growth.



In the face of human suffering, Mangalwadi argues that religions which present a distant deity, and those who teach “karma”, are relatively indifferent to it; whereas the Bible inspires repeated assaults upon it.



 



Cover of the book.

Politically, he argues that it is only the biblical notion of humanity made in the image of God, which has made functioning democracy and a free press possible. “Nonbiblical cultures only pay lip-service to a free press,” he states. Likewise, it is societies with roots in the Bible, that have lead the way in women’s rights, he notes.



The book concludes with a plea to “the West” not to abandon the source of what has made it great. His argument is that our society will wither, and we will be inordinately diminished if we abandon the biblical worldview that nurtured our gains. 



Western readers will be stirred, not just by these cultural observations, but also by a book that doesn’t limit the effect of the gospel of Christ to the individual, as we are peculiarly prone to do. Mangalwadi might at times appear to be a little more pro-Western than any European or American author might be comfortable with, but is free from any suspicion of being nationalistic or ethnocentric in this regard.



It is routinely assumed that Christian mission was a mere prop for colonialism. We are told that the biblical worldview is responsible for environmental exploitation, and that we should cast our eyes eastward for a more enlightened view. Likewise, the Bible is referred to in popular culture as a repressive or dangerous book. That such views are simplistic and misleading is axiomatic; but Mangalwadi’s The Book That Made Your World shows just what is wrong with them, and develops a strong case that where the Bible has been taken seriously, human societies have made some of their greatest and most significant advances.



Mangalwadi has provided a book of massive scope with huge implications, which should be read and reckoned with by both the Bible’s admirers and detractors alike.



Gavin Matthews is a writter, blogger and Bible-teacher.



This article was first published in Solas magazineSolas is published quarterly in the U.K. Click here to learn more or subscribe.


 

 


1
COMMENTS

    If you want to comment, or

 

E. Calvin Beisner
05/05/2016
20:13 h
1
 
Vishal Mangalwadi has been my friend for over 20 years, and I consider him one of the most insightful cultural analysts in the world today. That's why I invited him to be a Senior Fellow of The Cornwall Alliance for the Stewardship of Creation and to lecture for our video series "Resisting the Green Dragon." I'm glad he accepted. THE BOOK THAT MADE YOUR WORLD is truly outstanding. I recommend it to all.
 



 
 
YOUR ARE AT: - - - The Book That Made Your World
 
ADVERTISING
 
 
 
AUDIOS Audios
 
Ruth Valerio: A lifestyle that cares about creation Ruth Valerio: A lifestyle that cares about creation

Are Christians called to make a difference in environmental care? What has creation care to do with "loving our neighbours"? An interview with the Global Advocacy and Influencing Director of Tearfund.

 
Kathy Bryan: Online sex trafficking in the USA Kathy Bryan: Online sex trafficking in the USA

“Prostitution is nobody’s dream,  it’s a very traumatic lifestyle”, says Kathy Bryan, director of the Elevate Academy. She mentors former victims.

 
Christians in politics? Christians in politics?

What is the role of Christians serving in politics? An interview with Auke Minnema, the new General Director of the European Christian Political Movement (ECPM).

 
Michael Ramsden: Communicating the Gospel in today’s societies Michael Ramsden: Communicating the Gospel in today’s societies

RZIM International Director Michael Ramsden responds to questions about the secularisation of Europe, the role of Christians in public leadership and the new ‘culture of victimism’.

 
Michael Schluter: Relationships are the key to build Europe Michael Schluter: Relationships are the key to build Europe

The economist summarises the manifesto “Confederal Europe: Strong Nations, Strong Union” and explains why personal relationships should be at the centre of our economy, education and democracy. 

 
Efraim Tendero: Relationship with Roman Catholicism and other current issues Efraim Tendero: Relationship with Roman Catholicism and other current issues

The World Evangelical Alliance Secretary General participated in the Italian Evangelical Alliance assembly (Rome, 8-9 April). In this interview with Evangelical Focus, Bp Tendero talks about the need to listen to local churches and to face challenges like the refugee crisis and climate change. 

 
Greg Pritchard: European Leadership Forum Greg Pritchard: European Leadership Forum

Pritchard explains the vision of ELF, comments on the 2015 event in Poland and reflects on what it means to have an "evangelical identity".

 
PICTURES Pictures
 
Analysing current issues in the light of the Bible Analysing current issues in the light of the Bible

At the 2018 Apologetics Forum in Comarruga (Spain), Michael Ramsden, Pablo Martinez, Ruth Valerio and José de Segovia analysed how society and the Bible approach the issues of personal identity, integrity, sexuality, pop culture, and environmental care.

 
European “Bridges to Inclusion” gathering 2018, in Riga European “Bridges to Inclusion” gathering 2018, in Riga

The network of Christian ministries working for the inclusion of people with disabilities, celebrated its tenth continental meeting in Latvia with the participation of 12 countries.

 

 
Coexistence in the church - a model for society Coexistence in the church - a model for society

“Gospel, identity and coexistence” were the themes of the General Assembly of the Spanish Evangelical Alliance. Two days in Palma de Mallorca to reflect about the role of evangelical churches in society.

 
'Ungi kulimi changana' 'Ungi kulimi changana'

Educator and journalist Jordi Torrents shares images of the Sekeleka social centre in Mozambique. About 50 children live there, many with some kind of disability. All photos were taken with permission.

 
The President in an evangelical church on Christmas Eve The President in an evangelical church on Christmas Eve

For the first time, the President of Portugal attended a worship service in an evangelical church. It was in Sintra, on Christmas Eve.

 
Stamps to commemorate the Reformation Stamps to commemorate the Reformation

Poland, Lithuania, Namibia and Brazil are some of the countries that have issued special stamps on the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther’s 95 theses.

 
VIDEO Video
 
What are the cultural roots of the transgender movement? What are the cultural roots of the transgender movement?

Peter Saunders, CEO of the Christian Medical Fellowship (UK) summarises>the philosophical framework that made the transgender movement so popular.

 
Pitfalls that Christian artists should avoid Pitfalls that Christian artists should avoid

Delta David Gier, Conductor and Music Director, on some of the dangers for artists.

 
Why are Christian leaders particularly vulnerable to sexual temptation? Why are Christian leaders particularly vulnerable to sexual temptation?

“The reasons why somebody might have sex with a prostitute are very different from the reasons why somebody might want to have an affair with a member of their congregation”. An analysis by John Stevens, National Director of FIEC (UK).

 
Be safe on social media Be safe on social media

A video about the way traffickers target teenage girls online, produced by anti-slavery gorup Abolishion.

 
In Mission In Mission

A 360º lyric video about how all followers of Jesus Christ are called to serve God. Duo in Spanish (Alex Sampedro) and Portuguese (Marcos Martins).

 
Heart Heart

A short animation film by Swiss cartoonist Alain Auderset tells the message of the Bible in four minutes.

 
Philip Yancey interview Philip Yancey interview

An 8-minute interview with Philip Yancey on the role of Christians in a secularised society. Recorded in Madrid, September 2016.

 
An interview with Prof. John Lennox An interview with Prof. John Lennox

New atheism, the definition of "faith", Christianity in Europe, the role of the Bible in mission, and the need to listen more. An exclusive interview recorded at "Forum Apologética" (Tarragona, Spain) in May 2016.

 
 
Follow us on Soundcloud
Follow us on YouTube
 
 
WE RECOMMEND
 
PARTNERS
 

 
AEE
EVANGELICAL FOCUS belongs to Areópago Protestante, linked to the Spanish Evangelical Alliance (AEE). AEE is member of the European
Evangelical Alliance and World Evangelical Alliance.
 

Opinions expressed are those of their respective contributors and do not necessarily represent the views of Evangelical Focus.