Archives For Vishal Mangalwadi

Yesterday I posted on the economic effects of sin, and I cited a couple of examples from Vishal Mangalwadi’s book Truth & Transformation. Today I’m going to take the extra step and formally recommend the book.

Vishal Mangalwadi 2Mangalwadi has been referred to as “the Francis Schaeffer of India,” partially because he studied under Schaeffer, partially because he follows Schaeffer’s method of applying biblical truth to the pressing issues of the day. Mangalwadi is particularly interesting because he is a non-Western scholar who is well acquainted with Western thought and development. He provides a much needed perspective on our approach to life that is at once intelligent and unbiased.

In Truth & Transformation, Mangalwadi explores the impact that worldview has on our societies. You might be tempted to think that a worldview is a personal matter that doesn’t have much bearing on practical matters that affect whole societies. But Mangalwadi argues otherwise.

Water CarriersFor example, Mangalwadi asks why there are still women in India transporting water on their heads, when the Western world has found ample means for piping water and harnessing its power. It has nothing to do with intelligence, ingenuity, or motivation. It has everything to do with worldview.

One important contribution of Christianity to the Western worldview has been in the development of science. Christians see the world as God’s creation, and humanity as God’s caretakers. Because God is an orderly and rational Creator, the creation is worth exploring and mankind is capable of learning how the creation functions and shaping it in ways that benefit our societies. In this way, the Christian worldview has led the Western world into some major technological developments.

In parts of India, by contrast, the animistic worldview leads people to see the world not as something that can be explored and shaped, but rather as something controlled by unpredictable spirits that must be appeased. The local river is not something that can be harnessed for power and the water passing downstream is not something that can be piped into villages and homes. Rather, the spiritual forces within the river must be respected and appeased, and therefore water must be manually transported.

Truth and TransformationMangalwadi’s simple argument is that truth transforms. What we believe affects the way we live, both as individuals and as societies. And what God reveals to us holds true in the real world. So when we appropriate truth, it transforms our lives. And when we labor to see that truth take root in our larger societies, then widespread transformation can result.

This doesn’t mean that we can force God’s truth onto our culture or that transformation will be quick and easy. Mangalwadi carefully avoids two extremes here. He insists that this world and our societies are worth fighting for. Real healing and transformation is possible on this earth. But he equally insists that the world will not suddenly become a perfect place through our efforts.

Mangalwadi explains that God calls us to be witnesses, not revolutionaries. Our role is to faithfully represent God’s truth in every area of life. The transformation is in God’s hands. Truth & Transformation will help you think through the impact of truth and our calling to actively bring that truth to bear outside of the walls of our churches.

Sin Is Expensive

Mark Beuving —  October 25, 2012 — 1 Comment

A couple days ago, I blogged about Craigslist’s faulty theological foundation. Basically, Craig Newmark built Craigslist on the belief that people are basically good, so if you give them a platform for interaction, everything will work out. But because the Bible is correct in saying that people have a sin nature, things are bound to go wrong on Craigslist, even as they go wrong in every area of life.

Hamburglar

The McDonald’s Hamburglar

In this post, I’d like to briefly explore the economic impact of sin. In other words, sin is expensive. Certainly sin tears apart our relationships, our psychological health, and most significantly, our relationship with God. But sin also costs money.

In the case of Craigslist, the site has been used as a marketplace for prostitution, which has forced Newmark to make preventative changes to the site. Scammers have also been using the site to swindle sellers out of their goods, which means that Newmark’s team has had to add security measures. All of this means increased expenses.

In his excellent book Truth and Transformation, Vishal Mangalwadi talks about visiting a dairy in the Netherlands. When he walked into the dairy to buy a glass of milk, he found no attendants—there was only a cashbox in which to leave his money and make change if necessary. He observed that this is the most cost-efficient way for the dairy to sell its milk, but once enough people took their milk without paying (or even stole the money from the cashbox), the dairy would be forced to hire an attendant. This means money out of the dairy owner’s pocket, which means higher cost of production, which means higher prices for the costumers, and on and on it goes.

Vishal Mangalwadi

Vishal Mangalwadi

Mangalwadi also describes an experience he had while traveling through eastern Europe by train. He couldn’t figure out the automated ticket dispenser, so he asked a couple of young ladies how it worked. “We don’t know,” they told him. “But don’t worry about it. Just hop over the turnstiles. We’ve been travelling like this for weeks and no one has checked our tickets.”

Do you see where this is going? Once enough people hop the turnstiles and begin travelling for free, the railroads will be forced to hire clerks to check tickets on the trains, which increases their expenses, which in turn ups the price of a train ticket.

Sin is expensive.

The point is, not only was Craigslist built on the faulty premise that people are basically good, but the reality that people have a propensity toward sin is costly in every way. Think of how much money companies would save if they didn’t have to hire security guards. Or how much cheaper our goods would be if stores didn’t have to build compensation for a predicted amount of theft into their prices.

Sin is bad, and we all end up paying for it.