+1443 776-2705 panelessays@gmail.com

Your final assignment will be a 4- to 5-page Final Review and Reflection which requires you to choose one chapter from The Book that Made Your World and to reflect on the course overall.  Guidelines are as follows:

Choose a chapter from The Book that Made Your World. (Except chapter 3 and chapter 7)

Very briefly introduce the author, the book, and the chapter.

Describe/ define the cultural issue at hand.

Discuss the Christian response to the cultural issue, according to the author and what you have learned about Christianity. E.g.:

What does the Bible say about this issue?

How is the Christian church responding to this issue?

How is the secular world responding to this issue?

What might be the reason for the differing approaches?

Describe your personal reaction to the ideas set forth in the chapter. E.g.:

Do you agree with the author on how the issue is framed? Is something missing?

Do you agree with the Christian response? Is the Christian response realistic?

Do the ideas in the chapter align with or challenge your idea of Christianity?

Have you seen examples of the Christian response in “real life”?

Discuss how this chapter ties into what you have learned in this class overall. E.g.:

Has anything changed about the way you view Christianity?

Has anything changed about the way you view your own culture?

Has anything changed about the way you view other cultures?

What does this chapter teach about how Christianity and culture has been understood by Christians throughout history?

Are there parallel contemporary challenges facing Christians and leaders today?

How do the lessons in the chapter help you develop a greater cultural awareness and ability to “read” culture?

What similar tensions arise in vocational and leadership contexts between Christianity and contemporary western culture?

Has anything changed about the way you see yourself?

Based on what you have learned, how might you be a better leader?

It is very important that you use your own ideas, experience, and future goals to respond to the ideas in the chapter and ideas in this class. Your story matters!

You may use outside sources to support your ideas, give examples, or enrich your paper.  However, do not rely too heavily on outside sources or your paper will become a report on something other than your selected chapter and what you have learned in this course.

PRAISE FOR The Book That Made Your World: How the Bible Created
the Soul of Western Civilization

For too long now the West has flirted with a Naturalistic worldview that has jeopardized the most sacred
aspects of life and living. Vishal shows how profoundly and meaningfully the Bible does have the
prescription for bringing healing to the nations that have never known human dignity or social, economic,
and political freedoms.

RAVI ZACHARIAS , author, Walking from East to West and Beyond Opinion

With solid, detailed information, clarity of presentation, and logical force, Vishal Mangalwadi enables
anyone willing to see how our “Western” world depends entirely upon what the Bible, and it alone,
teaches about reality and how to live.

DALLAS WILLARD, author, The Divine Conspiracy and The Great Omission

Not since Francis Schaeffer’s How Should we then Live? in 1977 have we had so lucid and far-ranging
an explanation of what troubles the global community.

RANALD MACAULAY MA (Cantab), founder of ‘Christian Heritage,’ Cambridge, England

Discover moving history you wish you were exposed to in school, page turning prose that captures the
past in epic significance, and hope that could only be expressed by one who has tasted the nature of the
God who creates, cares for, and loves people, many of whom now face the ultimate challenge.

MICHAEL AUSTIN, communication consultant, New York

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.

STANLEY MATTSON, founder and president, C. S. Lewis Foundation

An intriguing and necessary read. Vishal references competing “truth claims” of other worldviews, and
discusses their inadequacies for providing hope for a world engaged in ever increasing upheaval. I’m
persuaded that reading this book will become an important part of the Christian university curriculum.

EUGENE HABECKER, president, Taylor University, Upland, Indiana

The Indian perspective is a breath of fascinating fresh air for American readers. I wish and pray that it
finds readers willing to have their minds shaken and their hearts, yes, their hearts, stirred as well.

JAMES W. SIRE, author, The Universe Next Door and Habits of the Mind

Vishal’s book is one of a kind; vast in scope, penetrating in its depth, and prophetic in its message. If we
fail to listen and recover the importance of the Bible in personal and public life, then the sun may set on
the West. This book is a tract for our times and a must read for anyone concerned with impacting our

ART LINDSLEY, author, C. S. Lewis’s Case for Christ

The Book That Made Your World examines the Bible’s world-changing influence. Its insights give a clear
call to remember what has been forgotten. Utilizing a unique global perspective, Vishal Mangalwadi
delivers both a vital warning and a clear hope for Western culture.

SCOTT B. KEY, professor of philosophy, California Baptist University

He sees what made us strong in the past and the consequences of our rejection of Biblical truths in
shaping our lives and our nation. May we have ears to hear and eyes to see.

MARY POPLIN, professor, Claremont Graduate University; author, Finding Calcutta

Biblical illiteracy is almost universal in Europe today. We need Vishal’s clear, prophetic, Eastern voice
to jolt us back to reality before our rich biblical heritage slips beyond our grasp.

JEFF FOUNTAIN, director, Schuman Centre for European Studies, the Netherlands

In this wide-ranging and insightful book, Vishal Mangalwadi not only enables us to see from his special
perspective the significance of the Bible in establishing many of the blessing of Western culture that we
too easily take for granted, but also to see more clearly the dangers involved in turning away from a
biblical worldview. I heartily recommend it to all who want fresh eyes to see and a heart to care about the
world to which the Lord has called us.

GARY INRIG, senior pastor, Trinity Evangelical Free Church, Redlands, CA

The Book That Made Your World reinforces my 8-year-old assessment that Vishal Mangalwadi
understands America better than our own leaders do.

HUGH MACLELLAN, JR, executive chairman, The Maclellan Foundation, Inc.

Mangalwadi’s perspective is that of a widely-read Christian from the “Global South.” From it he
provides a sober, unflattering assessment of our identity crisis, showing how it results from an under-
nourished, severely atrophied world-view, increasingly divorced as we are from the biblical foundation
that once gave us both coherence and a self transcending sense of purpose.

DAVID LYLE JEFFREY, FRSC, distinguished professor of literature and the humanities (Honors College);
distinguished senior fellow and director of Manuscript Research in Scripture and Tradition, Institute for

Studies in Religion, Baylor University; guest professor, Peking University, Beijing

Though I do not agree with everything he writes, I think every person who wants to understand the modern
world must read this book.

PRABHU GUPTARA, Freeman of the City of London and of the Worshipful Company of Information
Technologists and Chartered Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development; Fellow: of

the Institute of Directors, of the Royal Commonwealth Society, and of the Royal Society for the
Encouragement of the Arts Commerce and Manufactures—Switzerland

A small change in direction could have altered the Titanic’s fate. Many are seeing the West headed
towards catastrophe, but this highly readable, Eastern overview of our history could reshape our future.

DAVID MCDONALD, HealthTeams International and Mars Hill Foundation, WA

Place this book at the top of your “must read stack” or Kindle queue. You will find yourself cheering as
the Bible receives the credit it deserves. Vishal’s unique view of Western Civilization through the lens of
the East is brilliant!

JAN D. HETTINGA, author and pastor, Seattle, WA

Vishal Mangalwadi stands outside Western civilization today and peers in with eyes enriched by studies
in Eastern thought and a perceptiveness unspoiled by Western nihilism. He sees what we apparently no
longer see—that Western “exceptionalism” has its taproot in The Bible, and warns us of the coming
cultural demise. This book must be read!

JIM MOTTER, president, NORGANIX Biosecurity and director, The Areopagus

Vishal Mangalwadi offers a refreshingly different perspective from what students are taught about what
has made America such a source of hope, freedom, and productivity. He explains that America became a
shining light because its founding citizens read and reread one book. Neglect that book, he warns, and the
light will dim.

RICHARD GREGG, publisher, SueGreggCookBooks

Many modern intellectuals have ridiculed the Bible so loudly and so long that much of the American
public is not even aware of its indispensable role in the making of our unique civilization. In The Book
That Made Your World it is an Indian scholar that turns the tables on Western secularists, shining the light
of truth. I believe this compelling and illuminating scholarship will serve as an effective textbook for
years to come.

DR. MARK J HARRIS, president, Business for Community Foundation

Read this book for a rich history lesson and a moving reminder of how the Bible has empowered
freedom, education, technology, science, and the very soul of Western civilization. Vishal has a unique
way of bridging the gap from the East to the West, speaking with prophetic alarm about what civilization
will face if it forgets the Bible’s positive influence and foundational value.


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, author of Fundamentalism and American Culture

I have been a great admirer of Vishal Mangalwadi, and his latest work only enhances my admiration. His
uniquely Indian perspective on the centrality of the Bible for the development of the West and its emphasis
on human dignity makes The Book that Made Your World essential reading for any thinking Christian. And
it serves as a stark warning to the Western world that we forget the Bible and the Christian faith only at
great peril to our liberty and even our survival.

CHUCK COLSON, founder of Prison Fellowship and the Colson Center for Christian Worldview




The World of Gurus

In Search of Self: Beyond the New Age

Truth and Transformation: A Manifesto for Ailing Nations

Legacy of William Carey: A Model for Transforming Culture

Missionary Conspiracy: Letters to a Postmodern Hindu

India: The Grand Experiment

Quest for Freedom and Dignity: Caste, Conversion and Cultural Transformation






© 2011 by Vishal Mangalwadi

All rights reserved. No portion of this book may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means—
electronic, mechanical, photocopy, recording, scanning, or other—except for brief quotations in critical reviews or articles, without the prior
written permission of the publisher.

Published in Nashville, Tennessee, by Thomas Nelson. Thomas Nelson is a registered trademark of Thomas Nelson, Inc.

Thomas Nelson, Inc., titles may be purchased in bulk for educational, business, fund-raising, or sales promotional use. For information, please
e-mail [email protected]

Unless otherwise noted, Scripture quotations are taken from THE ENGLISH STANDARD VERSION. © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a
division of Good News Publishers.

Scripture quotations marked NIV are from HOLY BIBLE: NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible
Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved.

Scripture quotations marked NKJV are from THE NEW KING JAMES VERSION. © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All
rights reserved.

Scripture quotations marked KJV are from the KING JAMES VERSION.

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

Mangalwadi, Vishal.
The book that made your world : how the Bible created the soul of Western civilization / Vishal Mangalwadi.
p. cm.
Includes bibliographical references and index.
ISBN 978-1-59555-322-5
1. Bible—Influence—Western civilization. 2. Bible—Influence—Modern civilization. 3. Christianity and culture—India. 4. Christian
civilization. I. Title.
BS538.7.M36 2011


Printed in the United States of America

11 12 13 14 15 QGF 6 5 4 3 2 1

For the Sincerely Respected Public Intellectual
Member of Parliament and

Former Minister to the Government of India
Honourable Arun Shourie,

whose criticisms of the Bible prompted this inquiry


Foreword by J. Stanley Mattson, Ph.D.
Prologue: Why This Journey into the Soul of the Modern World?

1. The West Without Its Soul: From Bach to Cobain

2. Service: Or a Ticket to Jail?
3. Quest: Can Blind Men Know the Elephant?
4. Self: Am I Like Dog or God?

5. Humanity: What Is the West’s Greatest Discovery?
6. Rationality: What Made the West a Thinking Civilization?
7. Technology: Why Did Monks Develop It?

8. Heroism: How Did a Defeated Messiah Conquer Rome?
9. Revolution: What Made Translators World Changers?

10. Languages: How Was Intellectual Power Democratized?
11. Literature: Why Did Pilgrims Build Nations?
12. University: Why Educate Your Subjects?
13. Science: What Is Its Source?

14. Morality: Why Are Some Less Corrupt?
15. Family: Why Did America Surge Ahead of Europe?
16. Compassion: Why Did Caring Become Medical Commitment?
17. True Wealth: How Did Stewardship Become Spirituality?
18. Liberty: Why Did Fundamentalism Produce Freedom?

19. Mission: Can Stone Age Tribes Help Globalization?
20. The Future: Must the Sun Set on the West?

Appendix: The Bible: Is It a Fax from Heaven?
With Gratitude
About the Author


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.
The Book That Made Your World, by Vishal Mangalwadi, brings to mind Alexis de Tocqueville’s

early-nineteenth-century classic, Democracy in America. The invaluable insights of an observant French
visitor to America are now a “must read” for virtually every college student in America.
In a somewhat similar vein, Indian scholar, author, and worldwide lecturer Vishal Mangalwadi offers

within these pages a fresh and wide-ranging assessment of the Bible’s impact on Western culture. The
Book That Made Your World contains the careful investigation and observations of an “outsider” viewing
Western culture from within. What Mangalwadi discovers will surprise many. His book tells the story of
the Bible’s amazing influence upon the development of modern Western society. It shows why a serious
reassessment of the Bible’s relevance to contemporary public discourse and education at all levels—
public and private, secular and religious—is both urgently needed and much to be desired.
A culture can barely begin, let alone sustain, any serious intergenerational attempt to comprehend,

interpret, and respond to the riddles of life and the universe unless it has some reasonably comprehensive
worldview. In The Closing of the American Mind, Allan Bloom—a Jewish professor—acknowledged
that it was the Bible that gave critical impetus to, and sustained, the West’s intellectual endeavor of
examining all great ideas, be they true or false. Bloom wrote,

In the United States, practically speaking, the Bible was the only common culture, one that united the simple and the sophisticated, rich
and poor, young and old, and—as the very model for a vision of the order of the whole of things, as well as the key to the rest of
Western art, the greatest works of which were in one way or another responsive to the Bible—provided access to the seriousness of
books. With its gradual and inevitable disappearance, the very idea of such a total book is disappearing. And fathers and mothers have
lost the idea that the highest aspiration they might have for their children is for them to be wise—as priests, prophets or philosophers are
wise. Specialized competence and success are all that they can imagine. Contrary to what is commonly thought, without the book even
the idea of the whole is lost.1

Mangalwadi underscores the fact that it was the Western Church that gave birth to the university, in its

determined and passionate effort to pursue Truth. Following in the train of the great universities of
Bologne, Paris, Oxford, and Cambridge, America’s first institution of higher education, Harvard, was
founded upon the motto Veritas— Truth. Over the course of the last century, however, the motto has been
stripped of all meaning. “Leading thinkers” within the academy have succeeded in persuading many that
“truth,” as such, is largely a function of social convention. The reigning climate of pessimism about our
ability to truly know anything significant was most powerfully articulated by the late Richard Rorty,
arguably one of the most influential American thinkers of the last forty years.
In What’s the Use of Truth?, Rorty contends that there is no privileged position, or any kind of

authority, that can provide a rationally justifiable standpoint from which one can know the “real” world.
The word truth, he insists, has no significant meaning. Traditional distinctions between true and false
must be abandoned. In their place, we can only think and speak in terms of webs of language that display
greater or lesser degrees of “smoothness” and homogeneity. For Rorty, every assertion of truth is only
provisional—at its very core, a form of make-believe—because language itself is merely a product of
human society. Our words refer to nothing except insofar as they interpret our experience. Accordingly,

Rorty rejected any and all efforts to render reality as meaningful through any means other than that of
embracing it as a linguistically constructed, self-referential human social reality.
This very argument, however, also deprived Rorty of any rational basis to support his, or anyone

else’s, defense of any social structure or view of reality, however compelling or desirable. Indeed, those
who embrace such a view consistently cannot even investigate the historical conditions that established
the social structures they desire. In The Future of Religion, Rorty acknowledged this profound
intellectual disability, conceding, “It may be just an historical accident that Christendom was where
democracy was reinvented for the use of mass society, or it may be that this could only have happened
within a Christian society. But it is futile to speculate about this” (emphasis added).2
Predictably, Rorty’s work, and that of his peers within the academy, has led to a wholesale

abandonment of any aspiration to pursue truth, knowledge, and rationality as understood over the long
course of Western civilization. The intellectual culture that Rorty represented not only denigrates the
classic texts that created the modern world of justice, freedom, and economic opportunity, but also denies
any responsibility to introduce students to those foundational ideas that would most certainly contradict
the reigning philosophical ideology. In so doing, the long valued “free marketplace of ideas” has been
materially and lamentably compromised. For if there is no truth to be discovered—if all truth is merely a
function of social constructs— then reason itself has no genuine authority, and in its place, academic
fashion and marketing determine what a culture believes. More foreboding still, the risk is real that
outright coercion may replace the authority that the modern world once ascribed to Truth. Questions
concerning the nature of reality, the meaning of life, of honor, of virtue, of wisdom, and of love are
understood to be nothing more than curious relics of old-fashioned thinking.
C. S. Lewis, no stranger to the dictates of academic fashion, credited Owen Barfield, a fellow Inkling,

for his deliverance from what Barfield referred to as “chronological snobbery,” that is,

the uncritical acceptance of the intellectual climate common to our own age and the assumption that whatever has gone out of date is
on that account discredited. You must find out why it went out of date. Was it ever refuted (and if so, by whom, where, and how
conclusively) or did it merely die away as fashions do? If the latter, this tells us nothing about its truth or falsehood. . . . our own age is
also “a period” and certainly has, like all periods, its own illusions.3

Where does this leave us individually and culturally? If we opt to follow Rorty’s lead and the fashion

of the day, our only recourse is to join Candide in the cultivation of “our garden.” Nothing is “meaningful”
except insofar as it satisfies our individual needs and desires. In abandoning Truth, we abandon the only
viable means of empowering real community—i.e. through the humble, and yes, “age-old” common
pursuit of the Good, the True, and the Beautiful.
Clearly, our “ironic age” desperately needs a more reliable mirror by which to recover and assess our

almost forgotten past. We need to re-envision a common and universal hope for human society. We need to
learn again from the sources that once so deeply captivated our imaginations, ordered our reason, and
informed our wills. It was from and through these very sources that the West realized the transformation of
individual lives, families, and whole communities that gave shape to the modern world as we know it.
Given the increasing intellectual and spiritual chaos of our time, it strikes me as extremely worthwhile to
trace those unique features of the West that helped foster these fertile changes.
Vishal Mangalwadi’s immense contribution over the course of the following pages may appear

counterintuitive. If so, it is precisely because his 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.
Where Bloom laments the closing of the American mind, Mangalwadi brings a refreshing optimism. As

it happens, he began studying the Bible seriously at an Indian university only after discovering that
Western philosophy had lost all hope of finding truth; for all intents and purposes it had become

“essentially bankrupt.” The Bible aroused his interest in the history of the modern world. His study of
world history, in turn, gave birth to a renewed hope that resounds throughout the pages of this rather
extraordinary book.
Mangalwadi is an intellectual from the East. He possesses an intimate knowledge of the vast range of

Eastern thought and cultures and has also benefited greatly from extensive exposure to the intellectual and
spiritual traditions and institutions of the West. This access to the thought of both East and West has
afforded him a unique perspective into the mind and heart of Western culture. It enables him to speak to
the crisis of our time with incisive clarity and prophetic courage.
These pages introduce us to the poorest of the poor in rural India, as well as to the seminal thinkers of

Western civilization. Throughout, Mangalwadi ably demonstrates that the biblical worldview emerges as
the critical and unmistakable source of the unique vision of Western thought, values, and institutions.
Speaking to the issues raised in the course of Rorty’s writings, he documents that the Bible, understood to
be the revelation of God to humanity, provided the basis for an admittedly imperfect but nonetheless
remarkably humane society. It was, above all, a civilization in which truth was understood to be real,
where the collective pursuit of virtue shaped behavior, and the redemptive work of God in the person of
Jesus Christ provided a radical and historically verifiable transforming response to the abyss of human
selfishness, corruption, and sin.
Weaving careful analysis together with captivating stories, Mangalwadi offers his readers concrete

encounters with the full range of human virtue and corruption. He sounds a clarion call to the West not to
forget but to remember and return to the unique source of its very life. In the tradition of Ezekiel, this
twenty-first-century “watchman on the wall” has spoken. May his words take root and foster a much-
needed renewal of the American mind and spirit.


Founder and President of The C. S. Lewis Foundation, Redlands, California, Stanley Mattson earned
his Ph.D. in American Intellectual History from the University of North Carolina–Chapel Hill in 1970.
A past member of the faculty of Gordon College,; headmaster of the Master’s School of W. Simsbury,
Connecticut; and director of corporate and foundation relations for the University of Redlands, Dr.
Mattson established the C. S. Lewis Foundation in 1986. He has since served as director of its
programs in Oxford and Cambridge, England. The foundation is currently engaged in the founding of
C. S. Lewis College as a Christian Great Books College, with a school of the visual and performing
arts, just north of the Five College area in western Massachusetts. (For further information, visit the
C. S. Lewis Foundation’s Web site at www.cslewis.org.)



In 1994, India’s Roman Catholic bishops invited one of our most influential public intellectuals, Dr. Arun
Shourie, to tell them how a Hindu looks at Christian missions. Since his illustrious family was a product
of missionary education, the bishops may have expected him to commend missions. Shourie, however,
condemned missions as a conspiracy of British imperialism.
When Britain colonized India militarily and politically, Shourie argued, missionaries were brought in

to colonize the Indian mind. Mission’s he said, were the worst form of colonialism, since they harvested
our souls; they subverted our culture. From reproaching missions, Shourie went on to attack Jesus and
ridicule the Bible as an irrational and immoral book. He then expanded his lecture into two books.1
Shourie’s books came out when the militant Hindu Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was preparing to fight

a national election where it emerged as a large enough party in Parliament to form a coalition government.
The BJP used Shourie’s book to push its platform. It said that the liberal Hindu parties, such as the Indian
National Congress, should be voted out because liberal Hinduism had allowed Christians and Muslims to
convert our people and subvert Indian culture.
Once the might of a national party got behind Shourie’s books, they became national best sellers. His

thesis was translated into Indian vernaculars, and excerpts were published as syndicated columns in
national and regional newspapers.
I already knew that the Western missionary movement, which the BJP portrayed as the villain of

modern India, was, in fact, the single most important force that created contemporary India.* Yet, thanks to
Shourie’s books, the frontline missionaries, who came from the south to serve North India, began to be
accused as dangerous CIA agents. These are some of India’s best public servants, sacrificially engaged in
uplifting the “untouchable” victims of Hindu philosophy and its oppressive caste system, but they were
presumed to have CIA funding to prepare for the Pentagon’s neo-colonial designs. The Bible—the book
that began and sustained India’s education, emancipation, and all-around modernization—was denounced
as fit only for fools.
Arun Shourie had gone to India’s best Christian college and earned a doctorate from a prestigious

American university established by a Protestant denomination to teach the Bible. He had served as an
officer of World Bank and headed India’s largest newspaper chain. He is a moral crusader whom many of
us loved and still do. Why did a learned man like him have such a poor understanding of the Bible and its
role in creating the modern West and modern India? Why didn’t he understand that the education he
received, America’s economic system that he studied, the free press that he championed, the political
liberties that he cherished, and India’s public life that he fought to keep corruption-free had all come from
the Bible . . . although much of it had now been secularized and even corrupted?
Dr. Shourie’s ignorance was not his fault. The problem was that even his Christian professors in India

and in America had little idea of the Bible’s importance and how it created the modern world, including
its universities, science, economy, and freedoms. Ignorance and unbelief are understandable, but
distorting one’s own history is costly bias. It undermines the intellectual and moral foundations of the

modern world. This reign of ignorant bias in Western universities raises the question: Must the sun set on
the West?
I responded to Dr. Shourie’s first book in a series of letters that were published as Missionary

Conspiracy: Letters to a Postmodern Hindu. I responded to his second b