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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Multi-layered, surprising, refreshing, 30 Sep 2011
I'll confess that I have come to Vishal Mangalwadi's writings at a relatively late stage. Friends who have read his earlier volumes have generally attested to the great care and scholarship which underpins his vigorous and challenging style.

Vishal writes as an Indian national about the nature of Christian missionary activity within his own country. In a day when secular intellectuals tend to use sound-bites to denigrate the impact of such cross-cultural evangelism, it is a rare and refreshing thing to encounter someone who has actually bothered to check up on the history. It becomes progressively evident, as one works through TBTMYW, that Hinduism, Buddhism and Islam had all failed to produce beneficial and progressive outcomes in India, despite the passage of many centuries. Thankfully, there were Christians who saw an opportunity to piggy-back missionary work onto the commercial activities of the British India Company, although this did on many occasions bring them into conflict with secular agendas. If it were not for those missionaries, India would not have had its own written languages for the population, and there would have been no hospitals or universities.

It has been this profound awareness of the positive impact of the Bible within Vishal's own culture that has informed this book (TBTMYW) which looks at the fundamental influence of the Bible on western scientific method, the university system, systems of medical care, the origination of schools for the general public (and not just privileged classes), and pretty much every beneficial societal structure, all the way up to our democratic systems and processes. The fact that neither the Qur'an nor the Hindu Vedas gave us these things is significant, and makes it all the more concerning that the last century has seen secularists systematically unpicking this foundation to our culture.

The author writes in an open, engaging manner. He is persuasive in the way he marshals his material and arguments. In the process of reading the book, I did actually learn quite a bit that was 'new' to me (particularly in relation to the impact of Christian missionaries in India), but what is powerful about this treatment is the way in which ideas and historic facts are 'joined up'. Vishal makes explicit the connections between ideas, in a way that leads the reader to understand why, for example, healthcare provision will inevitably suffer, if we do not retain the biblical view of the dignity of the individual, created in the image of God.

If the book has a weak point (and I am not sure that it has), it may be in relation to the dynamic between the 'big picture' perspectives that Vishal excels at, and the need to pause to attend to supporting detail. I suspect that this is merely a function of space - at 428 pages, it is not exactly a slim volume.

Overall, I was reminded of the kinds of qualities that one finds in HOW SHOULD WE THEN LIVE PB, although I think that Vishal is perhaps an easier voice to engage with, and of course he is writing with the benefits of thirty more years worth of academic study.

This book is an invaluable resource for Christians who might feel at times wrong-footed by the strident claims of the new atheist lobby, and is a useful antidote towards the kind of revisionist approach towards history which finds its way into the media and popular publications. I think the book might also be useful for those of a more skeptical persuasion, who do at least seek to nurture an open-mindedness about the Bible and its value within our culture.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a welcome perspective from a non-western voice, 16 Jun 2013
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Short memories breed shortsightedness. We westerners have amnesia when it comes to knowing the source of inspiration for so many concepts, norms and values which we take for granted: equality, brotherhood, human dignity and value, to name just a few. Mangalwadi brings an unexpected Asian perspective coupled with deep insight into western thought, laced with personal anecdotes, to remind us of our roots and the consequences of choosing for a cut-flower culture.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A riveting read!, 20 Feb 2012
If you are someone who finds history boring, you'll change your mind after reading Mangalwadi's all-embracing account of the growth and development of the world in which we live. It is obvious that extensive and meticulous research has gone into the creation of this book, which has been presented in a most readable style. It is a "must read" for all seekers after the truth. I have it in book form as well as on my Kindle.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thought-provoking., 20 Aug 2012
A thoughtful analysis of the Bible's influence on Western Civilisation. It provokes questions about what the West, especially the post-1960s generations, might regard as self-evident truths and which Mangalwadi sees as under threat. A salutary reminder that things might not necessarily be like this but for the Bible.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent book for everybody, 25 Dec 2012
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This review is from: The Book That Made Your World: How the Bible Created the Soul of Western Civilization (Paperback)
Excellent book, gives the Bible its proper place in this confused world. Pity that the West has to a great extent abandoned its teachings today, hence the moral bankruptcy that is so evident. Everyone should not only read it but study its message and fill their minds with the Bible itself.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant book, 29 Jan 2013
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This is a brilliant book, summarising in one place the amazing influence of the Bible in the foundation of Western Society. Much of this evidence has been "forgotten" or supressed by todays secular society but is here well documented with extensive references. Democracy, justice, equality, ideas of heroism, integrity in business, education, medicine, science and technology owe a tremendous debt to pioneers whose ideas derived from the Word of God.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A birds eye view of the influence of the bible on global civilization, 24 Mar 2013
By 
Mr. H. R. Tufnell "Cornish cough" (Falmouth UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Wide- ranging but at the expense of depth. Much of the book is a philosophical treatise which I had to wade through to get at the more insightful sections on the moulding influence of the Scripture on mankind.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent and unbiased book for the truly open minded, 3 May 2013
I bought this book as part of my LRBS course. I did not know what to expect when I bought it, because it sold out very quickly from the bookshop that I bought it from. When I settled down to read it, I quickly understood why it sold out very quickly from a reformed bookshop.

The author looks at how the bible has impacted the Western world in several ways. This includes culture, technology, medical wisdom, ethics, education and many areas. He tells how the bible still impacts the west today, in-comparison to other parts of the world.

Finally, he takes a critical look at the Western world today and the future consequences of the West's abandonment of the bible.

Above all, the author is not biased, because he is very critical of the damage that Hinduism has done to his native India and how the bible has been mainly responsible for India's progress today.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant treatise, 11 April 2013
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Every Christian should read this. Well written and useful. A great resource for our age. Recommended for anyone who wants to see how influential the God's Word really is.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Book That Made Your World, 21 Mar 2013
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This is one of the best books I have read for a long time. Full of information. A must have for Christians & Non Christians.
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