Monday, July 23, 2012

A Survey of the Bible’s Influence on Western Civilization

Review of 

The Book That Made Your World: How the Bible Created the Soul of Western Civilization 
By Vishal Mangalwadi
Thomas Nelson, 2011 (464 pp, $22.99, hardcover) 

Rating: 3.5/5
In his book, The Book That Made Your World, author Vishal Mangalwadi surveys the Bible’s influence on the development of Western Civilization and his native India. Mangalwadi outlines the Bible’s impact on several features of civilization that are (or began as) Western ideas such as technology, heroism, science, and family and explains how modern man has begun (or has succeeded) to remove these ideas from their Biblical foundation. As such, he argues, the West has lost its soul and must return to the truth of God’s Word in order to avoid the consequences that have resulted from rejecting the Bible’s authority.

Mangalwadi expertly draws upon many resources to deliver an excellent history of the Bible’s influence on each facet of Western Civilization. It was very interesting to read the story of how early Bible translators such as William Tyndale, Martin Luther, and John Wycliffe all risked their lives in order to bring the truth of the Bible into the hands of laypeople so that they could judge their own lives and the actions of authority figures according to the Holy Word of God.

While I appreciated Mangalwadi’s survey of the Bible’s influence on Western Civilization, I was oftentimes distracted and disinterested in his descriptions of how the Bible westernized his native India. I acknowledge Mangalwadi has served faithfully in India for many years and has learned much about India’s history; yet he loses the focus of his book when he delineates the Bible’s impact on India as opposed to concerning himself purely with how the Bible created Western Civilization (especially as it evidenced itself in Europe and the United States). It was during these sections that I found myself losing interest and desiring to skip ahead to return to the primary focus of the book.

Overall, Mangalwadi presents a broad survey of how the Bible shaped Western Civilization in a complete work that will likely cause readers to seek out additional titles related to the various facets of the West explored in this book. While this is certainly not a quick or easy read, it is a valuable examination of the tremendous influence of the Bible on Western Civilization.

Review by Tyler Constable

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com <http://BookSneeze®.com> book review bloggers program. 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 <> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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