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The Book that Made Your World: How the Bible Created the Soul of Western Civilization

4.35  ·  Rating details ·  759 ratings  ·  162 reviews
Understand where we came from.

Whether you're an avid student of the Bible or a skeptic of its relevance, The Book That Made Your World will transform your perception of its influence on virtually every facet of Western civilization.

Indian philosopher Vishal Mangalwadi reveals the personal motivation that fueled his own study of the Bible and systematically illustrates how
Hardcover, 442 pages
Published May 9th 2011 by Thomas Nelson
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Bart Breen
Mar 09, 2012 rated it liked it
I was interested when offered a copy of this work to review. As a student of the Bible and Western History, I noted the endorsement of Ravi Zacharias (whom I respect), I noted the author's association with L'Abri and I also noted the endorsement of Chuck Colson and my first impressions was that this was going to be something along the lines of Francis Schaeffer's Cultural analysis, and an equating of everything good in Western Culture with it's basis upon the Bible and anything bad as an indicat ...more
Sep 15, 2014 rated it really liked it
Most Christians (and even many unbelievers) acknowledge that to some extent, the Bible has shaped our western civilisation. What we don't know--and can barely begin to imagine--is just how profound that influence has been, reaching to how many areas of life that we simply take for granted.

Vishal Mangalwadi's book is an attempt to show us an outsider's perspective on just how blessed we are to have a culture that has been permeated with the Bible and with many generations' worth of Christian atte
Oct 17, 2011 rated it it was amazing
(Note: Customer review from the Amazon Vine™ Program)
Not to put too fine a point on it, but this is the most eye-opening book I have ever read! When I first ordered this book, I was expecting more of a dry, historical tracing of Western ideas to the Bible. But really, it does so much more than that. It traces Western ideas back to the original source of their inspiration, the Bible, questions the modern notion that Western thought originated in the Greco-Roman tradition, criticizes the moral ba
Ian Hodge
May 31, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: culture, history
Vishal Mangalwadi has produced a broad sweeping cultural history of Christianity. In so doing, he draws contrasts between his native India under Islam or Hinduism, and how Christianity changed the Indian culture for the better. At least that occurred where it had significant influence. At the same time, the West is reminded of its Christian heritage and how it got to be where it is. All thanks to one book, the Bible - the one that changed your world.

His target audience is western Christians, esp
Sydney Jacques
May 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Dear Everyone,
Please read this book and soak up its hope.
Love, Syd.
Richard Leo
Oct 15, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This is a problematic book. As a book it attempts to show what the 'soul' is of Western Civilization. In taking this approach, Mangalwadi tries to argue that the Bible is the only reason why the West developed in the fashion that it did. I have two key issues with this historical thesis: first, as a historical conceit it is only partially correct at best; second, the author presents this book with a historically flawed methodology.

As a book Mangalwadi tries to provide an overview and generalist
Trevor Faggotter
May 14, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Seeing the world through Indian eyes offers a very fresh perspective.
The book is subtitled: How the Bible Created the Soul of Western Civilization. The subtitle could be misleading, however.

This is not just a ‘three cheers for the Bible’ kind of book. Nor is it going to simply bolster the views of the hard-line fundamentalist, as the title may suggest. Rather, these are the words of a man who has come into the rich flow of wisdom, and truth. Indeed, he puts much emphasis upon the importance of
Oct 22, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: history, theology
This book shone a major light on some concepts that I had taken for granted as being universal common sense, and traced their origins back to the Bible. Ideas such as a democracy where the rulers and the people are responsible for adhering first to a moral law; the notion of equality of all people; the inherent value of a life; the concept of heroism as the laying down of one's life to serve others (rather than conquering them); the idea that the world and the universe are knowable and that the ...more
Dave Dentel
Jun 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing
It may have been the dust jacket design that threw me off. The title is set in ornate lettering and illuminated with a medieval-style vine-and-serpent motif, which led me to think this was a book about the ancient origins of the Bible and how it emerged in its present form.

Instead, The Book That Made Your World examines a much more familiar theme—how the Bible influenced and accommodated the rise of Western civilization. But what makes it different, and unusually potent, is that its thesis is pr
If you are looking for an easy read, "The Book that Made Your World: How the Bible Created the Soul of Western Civilization" is not an easy read, but a soulful read that deeply explores the impact the Bible has made on civilization and cross compares, why didn't anything else have the same level of impact as the Bible.

The book may look intimidating,but"The Book that Made Your World: How the Bible Created the Soul of Western Civilization", breaks down each chapter, into the areas that the Bible h
Nov 16, 2011 rated it really liked it
I got this book on the recommendation of a friend over discussions of evangelism. It is well worth reading for the following people: 1. Christians who really want ideas for evangelism. 2. Christians whose faith is shaken to one degree or another.

Christian worldview is important, and lots of Christian authors have written on the topic effectively. Mangalwadi adds to the worldview discussions in the realm of practicality. His thoughts on Christian worldview mostly come by way of personal testimony
Lynn Joshua
Jun 08, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This book reveals how the ideas that we consider common sense or universal are actually unique to cultures that have been influenced by the Bible. The author has a unique viewpoint as a Former Hindu raised in India. Here are some of the ideas we take for granted:
Democracy where the rulers and the people are both accountable to a higher moral law;
the worth of every life,
the idea the the stronger is responsible to help the weaker instead of the other way around;
the idea that the world and the u
Sep 09, 2011 rated it really liked it
Much like Rodney Stark's book "The Victory of Reason," Mangalwadi's book "The Book That Made Your World" is the story of how the gospel, delivered through the Bible, has transformed the world from a place of violence and barbarism into the modern, industrial, affluent, civilized world.
Mangalwadi traces this out in a host of ways--music, science, education, politics, missions, and more. One of the greatest strengths of the books is his contrast between the East and West.

Mangalwadi is an Indian a
Edwin David
Aug 22, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: church-history, bible
Probably the easiest way to describe the contents is to say that it is rather like a Bible centred version of Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies though this won’t help you if you’ve not read it! Essentially, Mangalwadi sets out to demonstrate the way in which the Bible has shaped Western culture from the ground up; as the subtitle says ‘the Bible created the soul of Western Civilisation’.

Covering topics as widely spread as humanity, rationality, technology and heroism, the book
Apr 19, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: apologetics, history
I would call this a 21st Century update to Schaeffer 's "How Should We Then Live?", but from an Eastern perspective. Vishal does an excellent job at using the lens of Scripture to see clearly the strengths and deficiencies of Western Civilization. It was also enlightening to learn so much about India's culture and how much it owes to the outworking of Scripture. ...more
Jan 27, 2016 rated it liked it
This book is all over the place in both quality and truthfulness. Since it's a topic that I care about and one I wanted to learn more of, I read it twice and reviewed it carefully, breaking it down chapter-by-chapter in order to give each point far treatment. Here's how I felt.

Chapter 1: Soul. Without God the West has lost its soul, its reason for existence. As an example of this Mangalwadi turns to music, arguing that music has classically been an expression of the soul and Western classical mu
Chapter 1
Vishal Mangalwadi looks at what he believes to be the practical implications of the Buddhist worldview. He explores the life, suicide and Buddhist philosophy of singer Kurt Cobain. Some of the lyrics Mangalwadi quotes to prove his point are the following:
"Silence, Here I am, Here I am, Silent.
Death Is what I am, Go to hell, Go to jail...
Die" (Endless, Nameless)
He also looks at - and contrasts - the music of J.S. Bach with Cobain and other modern artists while setting the scene for the r
Jul 01, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle, booksneeze
Vishal Mangalwadi's The Book That Made Your World is an ambitious undertaking that is also deeply flawed. Mangalwadi’s thesis is concisely summarised in the Foreword to the book written by J Stanley Mattson:

‘[Mangalwadi’s] arduous research establishes the fact that the Bible and its worldview, contrary to current prevailing opinion, combined to serve as the single most powerful force in the emergence of Western civilization.’

In over 400 pages, Mangalwadi provides a sweeping series of historical
Oct 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Mangalwadi shows how The Bible created the aspects of our modern world which we value the most. He demonstrates how different world views necessarily produce different kinds of societies. Finally, he asks whether we are heading for a new dark age or whether we will recognise in time that we are headed towards a very different society if we abandon the truths of The Bible.

I can unreservedly recommend this book to everyone everywhere.
Aug 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, faith
This book focuses on the impact the Bible has had on the world as we know it today. It compares the philosophical foundations of major world religions and how their differences shape cultures. It dives deep into how the Bible and Christian values have impacted the development of global education, science, medicine, innovation, economics, democracies, the concept of the intrinsic value of humans, liberty and more. Not a light read but very interesting!
Megan Herriott
Mar 05, 2018 rated it liked it
Very interesting book that helped me better understand the history, culture and worldview held by many people in India. Some of the arguments/summaries of historical events seemed a bit over-simplified in order to make the point, although I believe they are still true and valid.
Joonas Laajanen
Dec 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Literally everything worthy of valuing in the world (Technology, Science, Heroism, Obj. Morality, Monogamy etc. ) was given to you by the Bible as God transformed the world through its truth. Great read.
Mary-Claire R
Oct 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
More interesting than I thought it would be. The 1st few chapters were a little rough but after that it was great!
Micael Hellquist
Sep 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Fantastic book, well worth reading!
Feb 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing
"Is the sun setting on the West?" So asks author Vishal Mangalwadi in his new call to action, entitled *The Book That Changed Your World: How the Bible Created the Soul of Western Civilization*. This book is one of the philosophically heaviest books that I've ever encountered. It covers the foundations of what is called "Western Civilization" (though in a mark of how far we have fallen as a society, that term seems to be going out of style with some of the liberal precincts that consider themsel ...more
Aug 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
Walks through the Bible's dramatic impact on each sphere of society throughout history and into the paradigms of our current age.

It leaves us with the question of how we will continue to define truth into the future.
Apr 27, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I have just finished reviewing “The Book That Made Your World, How The Bible Created The Soul of Western Civilization,” by Vishal Mangalwadi. This unsurpassed masterpiece details and highlights the events through history that have shaped our modern western culture. He travels through Britain, India, America and many other places revealing suppressed history and hidden truths about our ancestors, governments, and beliefs of many different religions.

This book is an eye opener even for people that
Eric Wright
Oct 30, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Eric by: Charles Noble
Out of his own Indian experience of Hinduism, Buddhism, and Islam along with his scholarly research and study of western secular humanism Mangalwadi demonstrates the historical effect the Bible has had on our world. This books should drop like a bomb in the middle of our complacent and arrogant so-called secular scholars. That it won't is due more to their prejudice than reality. That it has been written by a non-western Asian is startling in itself.

Mangalwadi seeds his scholarship throughout b
Todd Stockslager
Sep 17, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
Review title: Building our world

After reading  Jesus through the centuries: His place in the history of culture, my last review concluded with the question: "what claim does he have to be in the center of my life?" This book asks "what claim does Jesus have to be the center of my world?", and answers the question by establishing the Biblical roots of government, law, human rights, literature, morality, language, science, technology, medicine, and economics. Since "Western" civilization is someti
Evelyn Puerto
Mar 19, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Why did western civilization develop technology while others did not? Why was the west first to bring literacy to the masses? Why are most of the countries considered the least corrupt located in the west?

Good questions, all of them. Many have written on this topic, but few have covered it so thoroughly as Vishal Mangalwadi in The Book that Made Your World. Mangalwadi writes from the perspective of an easterner who had the opportunity to attend school because of the influence of western culture
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Vishal Mangalwadi (1949-) is an international lecturer, social reformer, cultural and political columnist, and author of thirteen books. Born and raised in India, he studied philosophy at universities, in Hindu ashrams, and at L’Abri Fellowship in Switzerland. In 1976 he turned down several job offers in the West to return to India where he and his wife, Ruth, founded a community to serve the rura ...more

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