From an Indian intellectual comes a highly informative, thoroughly enjoyable sweeping review of the power of the Bible in having shaped the culture and refinement of the Western world. Although unrealised and unappreciated by most people today, the author shows that the good things that remain in the fabric of life, whether education, order, dignity, freedom, or traditional culture, are traceable to the influence of the Bible.
As one review so aptly puts it, ‘Vishal Mangalwadi stands outside Western civilisation 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!’
The book begins intriguingly with the suicide of rock star Kurt Cobain in 1994, and you wonder why. You are led through the reasons for his action, and the baneful influence of the music, and you are then shown how Augustine and then the Reformation birthed and promoted a structural, meaningful, hopeful music culture that warmed and satisfied taste and hearts, and never led to suicides. Thus the numerous formative operations of the Bible are introduced.
The author’s testimony and his early experiences in discovering the Bible make fascinating reading. Then the great issues are surveyed – where did Western rationality come from? Or from where did progress in technology arise? What of the drive for education and universities, and what made ‘the West the best’? Why is there greater emphasis on the dignity of women and the preciousness of the family in the West, and what of the social duties of care and compassion?
The author allows himself a measure of generalisation in this book and many anecdotes, but the substance is sound, and there are countless insights into Hinduism, Yoga and a list of other ideas that stand in contrast to the strengths of Western practices.
This work is very difficult to put down, always absorbing, maintaining a cracking pace, and leaving the reader ashamed of his lack of appreciation of all that the Bible has given the world, even aside from its supreme message of eternal salvation in Christ. Here is a superb vindication of the Christian worldview. All will thoroughly enjoy this, and the young will find it an eye-opener.