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

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

3.6 15
by Vishal Mangalwadi

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ISBN-10: 1595553223

ISBN-13: 9781595553225

Pub. Date: 05/10/2011

Publisher: Nelson, Thomas, Inc.

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


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 its precepts became the framework for societal structure throughout the last millennium. From politics and science, to academia and technology, the Bible's sacred copy became the key that unlocked the Western mind.

Through Mangalwadi's wide-ranging and fascinating investigation, you'll discover:

  • What triggered the West's passion for scientific, medical, and technological advancement
  • How the biblical notion of human dignity informs the West's social structure and how it intersects with other worldviews
  • How the Bible created a fertile ground for women to find social and economic empowerment
  • How the Bible has uniquely equipped the West to cultivate compassion, human rights, prosperity, and strong families
  • The role of the Bible in the transformation of education
  • How the modern literary notion of a hero has been shaped by the Bible's archetypal protagonist

Journey with Mangalwadi as he examines the origins of a civilization's greatness and the misguided beliefs that threaten to unravel its progress. Learn how the Bible transformed the social, political, and religious institutions that have sustained Western culture for the past millennium, and discover how secular corruption endangers the stability and longevity of Western civilization.


“This is an extremely significant piece of work with huge global implications. Vishal brings a timely message.” (Ravi Zacharias, author, Walking from East to West and Beyond Opinion)

“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.” (Stanley Mattson, founder and president, C. S. Lewis Foundation)

“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.” (George Marsden, professor, University of Notre Dame; author, Fundamentalism and American Culture)

Product Details

Nelson, Thomas, Inc.
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
6.30(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.70(d)

Table of Contents


Foreword by J. Stanley Mattson, Ph.D....................XIII
Prologue: Why This Journey into the Soul of the Modern World?....................XIX
1. The West Without Its Soul: From Bach to Cobain....................3
2. Service: Or a Ticket to Jail?....................27
3. Quest: Can Blind Men Know the Elephant?....................38
4. Self: Am I Like Dog or God?....................46
5. Humanity: What Is the West's Greatest Discovery?....................59
6. Rationality: What Made the West a Thinking Civilization?....................77
7. Technology: Why Did Monks Develop It?....................92
8. Heroism: How Did a Defeated Messiah Conquer Rome?....................119
9. Revolution: What Made Translators World Changers?....................137
10. Languages: How Was Intellectual Power Democratized?....................161
11. Literature: Why Did Pilgrims Build Nations?....................178
12. University: Why Educate Your Subjects?....................194
13. Science: What Is Its Source?....................220
14. Morality: Why Are Some Less Corrupt?....................249
15. Family: Why Did America Surge Ahead of Europe?....................274
16. Compassion: Why Did Caring Become Medical Commitment?....................298
17. True Wealth: How Did Stewardship Become Spirituality?....................315
18. Liberty: Why Did Fundamentalism Produce Freedom?....................334
19. Mission: Can Stone Age Tribes Help Globalization?....................357
20. The Future: Must the Sun Set on the West?....................370
Appendix: The Bible: Is It a Fax from Heaven?....................390
With Gratitude....................426
About the Author....................429

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Book that Made Your World: How the Bible Created the Soul of Western Civilization 3.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 15 reviews.
meowth2011 More than 1 year ago
No, this is not the book that made your world, rather this book is about the book that did make the world. It's no big surprise that this book refers to the most influential book of all time. And anybody who has ever doubted the power of the Bible when it comes to influencing life on earth should learn a thing or two about it form this book. Most concepts of the Western civilization (and even beyond) has been built around the very concepts found in God's words. The author is a native of an Eastern country, but he knows a lot about the Western civilization's history than most Westerners themselves. And he takes this wealth of knowledge and incorporated them into this book to try and teach the world to be more appreciative of the power that the Bible has. Different types of readers will definitely learn a lot from this insightful and informative book. Even skeptics may find a reason to sit down and rethink his whole idea about the Bible. The Bible apparently has not only influenced the Western world's moral values. It has actually ingrained itself into various other aspects of human life and civilization. One will definitely learn a lot of useful information and insights from this book that he can then share with others. I give it 4 out of 5. I got a free copy of this book to review from booksneeze.
DailyLifeNotes More than 1 year ago
Although I’m not the religious type I do enjoy reading about philosophy and religious texts because I feel that there is always something to learn from them. Mangalwadi raised in India, brings in an interesting perspective on a text that has impacted nearly everyone on earth, the Bible. If you like to see a philosophical approach, yet biased it is a good book to read. What I did like about it was how it tied it to many of the things we know of such as pop culture, science, human rights and justice. Although interesting, there were many points in which I did not fully agree on because I thought that the author was very biased (but it is his book). I also didn’t like how some points (to me) seemed more like criticism of certain aspects of culture, for example pop culture. It isn’t for light reading, and if you’re willing to stick with it you might learn a thing or two as well. Overall this is one I would only recommend to those that like to learn something new or don’t mind a fresh perspective.
MSaff More than 1 year ago
"The Book That Made Your World", by Vishal Mangalwadi, is a collection of thoughts and ideas which formed our world as we know it today. How often we take for granted just how our lives are shaped and managed. Mangalwadi, takes the reader on the pathway of just how the Bible influenced the way the Western Civilized world works. "The Book That Made Your World", is actually a history book, that of a history of how the Bible shaped our world. In this collection the three different types of judgements are noted. (1.) Moral Judgments - This is good; that is evil (2.) Aesthetic Judgments - This is beautiful; that is ugly and (3.) Epistemological Judgments - That is true; this is false From these judgments we can start to see just how the Bible became the force that globalized Western civilization. Written in a text book way of forming of the ideas and taking the beginnings of civilization, Mangalwadi, expresses just how the Bible influenced how both Western Civilization took hold of the ideals of the Bible and Biblical teachings while the areas of the world such as Islam and Buddists cultures view their beginnings in such a different way. At the beginning of Part Three is a quote which identifies with America. "The Bible was one book that literate Americans in the seventeenth eighteenth, and ninetheenth centuries could be expected to know well. Biblical imagery proveded the basic framework for imaginative thought in America up until quite recent times and, unconsciously, its control is still formidable." - Robert N. Bellah This previous quote shows just how the West took hold of the Bible and ran with it, so to speak, forming nations filled with Bible believers and people who went to the Bible for the answers to their questions. I must say that I did find this book hard to read, but I also found it full of important information that everyone should be ready to explore. Once into this book, you will find all kinds of interesting information. Now we must figure out how to take our heritage and shout it from the rooftops. It will be a path most likely to be hard to follow, but with rewards beyond comprehension.
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RadtkeCustoms More than 1 year ago
A learned man who was raised in Indian culture, telling the world how the Bible has made it what it is today. It's an extremely powerful and uplifting book to read. He gives the facts, he shares personal stories, and he makes it an enjoyable read. One of my favorite quotes is, "Postmodern people see little point in reading books that do not contribute directly to their career or pleasure." Which I believe makes for a sad state of affairs in this world. You need to learn about the world you are living in and where it came from in order to know where it's going. Reading the challenges that the Bible has gone through in order to get into the hand of every person on this planet is amazing (and still on going). The effect the Bible has had on people explains so much about the world around us. As the Bible has been translated and placed into the hands of the common man, we have realized that we can think for ourselves and that there is something better for us out there if only we Ask, Seek, and Knock. I cannot explain as completely and eloquently as Mr Mangalwadi has. So go out and get yourself a copy and read for yourself how the Bible has changed the world. And then go and grab a copy of the Bible and see how it can change you. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255 From the publisher: Discover how the Bible became the West's source of human rights, justice, heroism, optimism, compassion, capitalism, family, and morality. In the 1960s many from the West went to the East in search of spiritual wisdom. The Book That Made Your World reverses the journey. 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
e-erazo More than 1 year ago
When I chose this book to review, I had the completely wrong idea about it. I was expecting a simplified "Did you know...?" approach to the impact the Bible has had on modern day civilization. This was definitely the wrong impression. Vishal Mangalwadi's book is more of a mixture of personal anecdotes alongside broad strokes of history that illustrate the contributions of the Bible to the realms of philosophy, technology, education, and politics. Reading Mangalwadi's account of the Indian perspective of the Bible was fascinating and illuminating. In writing this book, he is facing head-on a main charge from many secularists today: mainly, that the Bible is a harmful force in society, a force that deconstructs and overturns culture and knowledge. Mangalwadi, through his account of history, illustrates the vital role the Bible has played in developing Western civilization. I think this book is a solid resource for Christians who desire to know how the Bible impacted Western civilization. I would not, however, reccomend the book to those who disagree as Mangalwadi's bias is very strong throughout the book. I also disliked how strictly Protestant the book was. I would have enjoyed more on the impact of different traditions as well. Mangalwadi's writing also gets bogged down by lengthy quotes at some points. I read this as an e-book, and sometimes they are more distracting in that format than in print. I recieved this book from Booksneeze for review, and gave my honest opinion.
spyderk More than 1 year ago
The Book That Made Your World by Vishal Mangalwadi is a very in-depth and interesting study about how the Bible has made such an impact on our world. I was given a complimentary copy the publisher, and had I known it was close to 500 pages, I might not have requested it, due to my busy life as a working and homeschooling mom of 4. After I made it through the first 50 pages about Kurt Cobain and his music, I was very much interested in the history of how the Bible's teachings have affected my life personally as well as lives of others who lived long ago. Reading the personal information about the author's life in India was also insightful, because I do lack awareness regarding life in other cultures. I figured that I would probably just nod and agree with a lot of the content, but I was very much surprised to read things that made me appreciate how different and liberating a Bible-based culture is. I found that a lot of my questions about world history and the differences between Bible-believing cultures and other cultures were answered. I was impressed by the way the author showed how the Bible and biblical principles have influenced literature, science, medicine, and education in both large and small ways. I felt a new-found appreciation for not only the change that the Bible can make in one individual, but the changes that have taken place for entire cultures throughout our history. With each chapter, I found something new to highlight and share with my family, which made for some good discussion time. When my children are older, I will have them read this book as part of our homeschooling. * As I said, I received this book from the publisher, but I was not obligated to post a positive review, and all opinions are my own.
edivietro More than 1 year ago
Perhaps nothing says more about our Western culture than the fact that when I read a name like Vishal Mangalwadi, I assumed he was not a Christian. As it turns out, I was wrong. Mangalwadi is a Christ Follower - a radical one at that. He turned to Christ during his college education and has walked a long road of comparing his faith in the Scriptures to the other world faiths he has encountered. Ultimately, his conclusion is that all we consider foundational to our Western society is defined by the Bible. Morality, human dignity, democracy and many of our foundational ideas come directly from the Bible. He argues quite convincingly that the things we consider 'universal' are only universal within cultures that began with the Bible. The Book That Made Your World is fascinating because it comes at the major issues of western secularism from an obtuse angle. Rather than trying to compare Christian and secular values, Mangalwadi shows us the absence of the shared Western values and then points to the Scriptures. He demonstrates the source of these ideas, and makes it plain that without the source, the ideas are meaningless. It is easy to try to reject the Bible as revelation without considering its significant, even overshadowing, contribution to our society. To reject the Bible is to reject our very identity. An honest atheist must then be honest enough to reject the western code of morality, government, human dignity and even basic logic. All these things derive from the Scriptures and their direct influence on our culture as a whole. One of the most interesting things about The Book That Made Your World is that Mangalwadi does not go back to the ancient or medieval periods to see the origins of these ideas. He goes to the Reformation - the 'rebirth' of the study of the Scriptures. He shows that it has only been since the Reformation that our culture has been so significantly altered, although the truths were evident all along the way. I found Mangalwadi's book to be intriguing. It could have done with a bit more editing because it becomes redundant at times, but all the same the themes are valid arguments for the exaltation of the Scriptures in our culture. He does a good job of demonstrating that Western culture is not innately superior to other cultures. It is buoyed up by the reliance on the Scriptures, and when we abandon the Scriptures as the authority of our culture - that is when we get in trouble. Disclaimer: I received a free e-book copy of The Book that Made Your World from the publisher without expectation of a positive review.
EdenE More than 1 year ago
In an age when America wants to remove the Ten Commandments from its courthouses, and evict "In God We Trust" from its paper currency, Vishal Mangalwadi's book, The Book That Made Your World: How The Bible Created The Soul Of Western Civilization, is a much needed text. A native of India, Mangalwadi became a Christian at a young age, only to have his faith tested when he studied philosophy at secular universities and Hindu ashrams. His curiosity pricked, Mangalwadi set out to see if the Bible's claim that all nations would be blessed through Abraham's seed was true, especially for his own country. In The Book That Made Your World, Mangalwadi answers the questions, why had Western civilizations advanced in ways India and other Eastern countries had not? What did the West have that the East did not? His conclusion? The Bible. Throughout the chapters of The Book That Made Your World, Mangalwadi unpacks just how much the Bible plays into Western thought, philosophy, and law. He also reveals how the West's abandonment of the Bible and its precepts is causing it to decline. As a Christian Easterner from the outside looking in, Mangalwadi is particularly suited for the task, and he does it well. I can't recommend this book enough. Reading it gave me a new appreciation for the power of God's Word, and a new understanding of how blessed I am to live where I do. If you are looking for a read that is informative, jarring, encouraging, and illuminating, read The Book That Made Your World. I received a free copy of this book from BookSneeze in exchange for my honest review.
Steven_Ruff More than 1 year ago
In his new work, The Book That Made Your World; How The Bible Created the Soul of Western Civilization, Indian Christian Vishal Mangalwadi has written an impressive and relevant book that I believe settles the age old question that the Bible is simply a collection of stories and fables with no value for today. The Book That Made Your World handles the Bible's influence on the western world with solid fact, concrete reasoning, and appropriate personal testimony, when coupled together, reveal the power of the Living Word to change the face of civilization. Mangalwadi sets out to demonstrate how the Bible has affected, and in fact influenced, many areas of lives as westerners that we may not have considered, or have been willing to accept. The author breaks the Bible's influence into broad categories. He then gives detail, through the Bible itself, and other academic works that supports his thesis. For example, Mangalwadi demonstrates how the Bible has enabled women to find a place in society and be empowered to make a difference. He demonstrates how the early-held idea of what makes a hero has changed with the biblical demonstration of a hero. The Bible, as the author writes, changed forever the platform in which education was received. Other areas of biblical influences such as language, science, technology, morality, wealth, and compassion are discussed as well. This is very interesting and long book (almost 400 pages) and at times seemed dry and purely academic. Yet, it is well worth your patience. Mangalwadi's work is not directed solely toward those in professional ministry. This was my first reading of Vishal Mangalwadi. I want to read more of his work. The layout of this book allows it to be understood and embraced by all who want to know exactly how the Bible has influenced western civilization. A very powerful reminder that God's written Word is alive and active. I recommend this book highly. The Book That Made Your World would be enjoyed by historians, as well those simply curious about the Bible. I received a copy of this book from Booksneeze in exchange for my honest review.
TheFalcon More than 1 year ago
Unfortunately, Christians have generally forgotten how influential the Bible was in the development of Western Civilization. Vishal's book is a reminder that it is critical that Christians realize the influence of the Christian worldview on the development of Western Civilization. This is especially important for our young people to know since so much of the history they have been exposed to presents Christianity in an extremely negative way. Vishal does a masterful job of bringing that truth back to us with his very badly needed book. I highly recommend it for any Christian educational curriculum, especially if you are homeschooling. Quite readable, yet very in-depth content. This is a keeper that you will want for your own personal library.
FreeMind More than 1 year ago
Religious conservatives will stop at nothing to push their ideological agenda. Even if it entails rewriting large parts of Western history. “What Made the West the Best?” If you haven’t read the book yet, the author actually has a section entitled that. I had a redneck racist uncle who also believed the same. The difference is, the author comes from a former colony and came up with all kinds of flattering reasons for his new Western hosts. Clearly he never learned from his colonialist British-trained schoolmaster that it’s not polite to gloat over your perceived cultural superiority. Besides, didn’t he ever learn that pride is one of the seven deadly sins? Moral and intellectual compromise is interrelated. The intellectual duplicity starts from the very first chapter in which he looks at music as a barometer for the slide in Western Civilization. A short summary: Science has a hard time explaining music. That proves it’s spiritual. (Medieval theologians said the same about disease, crop failure, planetary motion, etc.). Music is mathematical. Therefore, that proves God “encoded music into the structure of the universe.” There’s no mention of the mathematics of music in the Bible but because a single verse in Job says “the stars sang together” that proves the Bible has a better (non-mathematical) explanation of music than even ancient Greek mathematical explanations. Music was a traditional component of pre-Reformation medieval education (my observation). Hundreds of years later, Luther also thought music should be taught in schools. That proves the Bible was responsible for music in the West. There’s no mention of the other religious reformers who banned it. Because monks built complex organs, that proves good Christian music helped contribute the West’s technological superiority. It couldn’t possibly be the other way around. Western civilization is now still making music based on the same mathematically derived harmonic principles. That’s irrelevant because there was this drug-addled rocker, Kurt Cobain, who committed suicide. Reader beware! This proves that without the Bible, we’ll all eventually end up creating bad music, sinking into despair, and becoming like Cobain! It’s like this chapter after chapter. Sometimes I had to wonder if the author was being facetious. OK, big proof everyone that the Bible was responsible for liberty and democracy. Ready? Well, there’s this great statue of Huguenot colonists holding a Bible in South Africa! What?? Did Huguenots ever develop a democratic society in South Africa? By this point, I wasn’t surprised that the author viewed the progenitors of apartheid as heroic. Onward Christian soldiers! And so it goes. The author cherry-picks history when convenient, revises large portions of history that aren’t convenient, and then attempts to tie it all together in mind-numbing bouts of tortuous logic. All for the glory of God. Mangalwadi has constructed a reality in his own mind whereby the Bible ought to be responsible for all that is good and beautiful in the world. Therefore, it must be true. Why do people read this stuff? I suppose it feeds their prejudices. Only now, those good ol’ pro-colonists, pro-nationalists, pro-capitalists ethnocentric Christian patriots have a new brown-skinned boy to carry water and chop wood for them. Some authors will do anything to gain an audience. Intellectual and moral compromise is a slippery slope.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I h@ted this book. I h@ted it so much! It was a complete let down and so so painful and boring to read! The Intro was so boring! Then the first chapter was de@th! It starts off talking about the importance of having a spiritual life. The idea is that if you don't have a spiritual life, your life will have no meaning. It uses Kurt Cobain lead singer of US grunge rock band as an example of what you may become if you have no spiritual life - a guy who blows his brains out with a shottguun. So you go, well, that's not me or anyone I know, but okay.... And you try to keep reading. But the book turns really stuuupid! It goes into music appreciation - how God created the world with music built into the creation mathematically. Okay. But all the paragraphs are disjointed. The author is clearly obsessed and in love with Kurt Cobain because he is brought up again and again and again to the point this is ridiculous! I thought this was supposed to be a REAL book. An intelligent book? This is not supposed to be a Kurt Cobain fan book! Oh... and for those who didn't know.... per Wikipedia, this guy was so "different" from others that he demanded/insisted on using a naked baby boy with a long as the cover of his CD. And the back? Wikipedia says he took pictures of diseased vag.inas (from his private medical collection? whut da f?) and put them on the back cover. siiick. Is it any surprise he blew his brains out? You have to have a pretty weird mind to get off on such images. Disclaimer: Received book free from Book Sneeze. Gave honest review.