Out of his own Indian experience of Hinduism, Buddhism, and Islam along with his scholarly research and study of western secular humanism Mangalwadi demonstrates the historical effect the Bible has had on our world. This books should drop like a bomb in the middle of our complacent and arrogant so-called secular scholars. That it won’t is due more to their prejudice than reality. That it has been written by a non-western Asian is startling in itself.
Mangalwadi seeds his scholarship throughout by telling illustrations from his experiences in both India and the West. With voluminous quotations from an astounding array of scholars of every stripe, he establishes the democratizing, liberating, inspiring role of the Bible in the success of Western civilization and its spread throughout the world.
He traces the effect biblical knowledge has had on human’s rediscovering their humanity, becoming thinking, rational people who were given to invent things–the rise of technology. He shows the effect it has had on freeing women, marriage, banning slavery, etc.
He ponders how the abosolutely unique character of Christ,an apparently defeated hero, supercedes the mythiccall heros of the ancient world to remake civilization in miniscule amounts into his own image. Christians, believers in the dignity of man and in morality, became the revolutionaries that really changed individual societies and ultimately vast segments of the world.
He shows how the Bible inspired language codification, translation and great literature; how it led to the founding of universities and was the inspiration for genuine science.
He establishes the role it played in rooting morality at the foundations of just societies, without which corruption becomes epidemic. Which societies are the least corrupt? Those founded on Protestant principles.
He traces the effect Bible believers have had on exalting the family; inspiring compassion through a host of insitutions including hospitals, leprosariums, and orphanages; creating wealth and innovation.
Perhaps, most important, he shows the effect it has had on producing human liberty. He gives case studies along the way to demonstrate the transforming effect the Bible has had even on societies as disturbed as those who were headhunters.
This is not a book to read in a week or even month, at least in my mind. It is a book to read in small batches that inspire thought. Every thinking person, especially secular humanists and post-modernists who are leading us deeper and deeper into despair, need to read this book. Highly recommended.