Thursday, June 2, 2011

When culture and history meet

I was excited to read this book because of the Reformed theological connections, because I'd once met a missionary to the US from India, which I found odd, and because I hoped to discover something about how other cultures see the faith of US believers.

The author set up his view of the world from his experiences as a child, which were helpful for me to understand where he developed his worldview.  I was a but stunned when Mangalwadi began the book with significant reference to dead rocker Kurt Cobain and his beautiful wife, but again, understood that both Mangalwadi and his American audience needed a reference point in which to begin a discussion on culture – where we began and how the cultures merged. What made the western world ripe for the Bible. With chapters than span global history, like "The Seeds of Western Culture" to the intriguing "What Made the West the Best" with segments that discuss if and how the US culture (mostly) rose above practices, like bribery, that seem natural in other cultures, the reader can't help but be drawn to the pages of the book.

I found it intriguing that, although the Word of God originated in what our American country calls the Middle East, the Bible has had the greatest influence for the better on later modern western culture. The nature of secularism vs. humanism seems to keep the debate open in our society; something that other faith-based cultures don't allow.

I love the fact that Mangalwadi tackled the tough questions to end his philosophical study of how the Bible influenced our society. How can God allow bad things to happen to good people (allow sin); can scientific people accept resurrection; what is true life?

For those who enjoy mulit-cultural philosophical topics and in-depth study of how history affect not only today but the future, The Book That Made Your World will be a valuable resource.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher for review purposes.

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