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Missionary books arranged on a book shelf

Books on Missionary Contribution to India

Now the Lord had said to Abram:
“Get out of your country,
From your family,
And from your father’s house,
To a land that I will show you.
I will make you a great nation”
(Genesis 12:2)


Abraham having a son in his old age so fascinates us that we often miss the whole
point of the book of Genesis. It is not a book of miraculous births and family trees; it’s
a book on “nation building”.


If we take our eyes off the men and women in the Bible and focus exclusively on what
God is up to, we will discover that the Bible is all about God building His Empire
through the creation or disintegration of nations on earth. He has always been in the
business of nation-building. Even a seemingly pointless verse in the Bible that we
quickly skim through is part of this grand scheme of nation-building. The clan names,
numbers, and other details we consider needless are actually about God bringing a
nation into form. Take Numbers 2 or 10, or the whole book of Leviticus, for instance:
Why is the arrangement of tribal camps important?
What are these random rules and regulations about?
What is the point of all this?

To understand them, we must first understand that Moses led a group of runaway slaves,
not aristocrats. They smelled of cattle, had crude manners, and behaved indecorously.
And when God brought this illiterate bunch out of Egypt to give them their own nation,
He wanted them to be exemplary, to be a model nation that others could look up to.
So, with His own fingers, God wrote the constitution of Israel on tablets of stone, that would eventually
be adapted by all other nations on earth. That is why Moses said in Deuteronomy 4:6
“Be careful to observe them; for this is your wisdom and your understanding in the sight
of the peoples who will hear all these statutes, and say, ‘Surely this great nation is a wise
and understanding people’.”


By first dictating the layout of their camp, God trained them to be organised and
disciplined. When the people of other lands heard of the Exodus, they probably waited
on the terrace expecting to see a feral crowd causing havoc and noise everywhere. But
to their surprise, they saw a nation that set up camp and broke camp with military
precision and order. When the prophet Baalam saw Israel camped out in the valley of
Moab, he could not help but gasp at their sophistication. “How lovely are your tents, O
Jacob! Your dwellings, O Israel! Like valleys that stretch out, like gardens by the
riverside, like aloes planted by the Lord, like cedars beside the waters” (Numbers 24:5,6),
he marvelled.


However, Israel was not the only nation God was building in the Bible. Just as God
formed the nation of Israel from Abraham’s seed, He also formed nations out of the
sons of Esau (Jacob’s twin), Moab, and Ammon (sons of Lot). Deuteronomy 2:5,9,19
mention that God had given them their own nation and prohibited Israel from
encroaching on their land. “Do not provoke them to war, I will not give you any of
their land, not even enough to put your foot on, for I have given Esau the hill
country… I have given Ar to the descendants of Lot”. The empires of Egypt, Babylon,
Persia and Rome were all the works of God’s hands.


Just as He is in charge of human lives, God is also in charge of nations. As Dr. Vishal
Mangalwadi
says, “Nations are mortal as are human beings, but both have destinies
before God”.

India in the Potter’s Wheel:


So, our next question is, “Was the God of Abrahamic religions involved in
the building of a Hindu nation?”


Absolutely!


India, to start with, was not a country of Hindus; it was originally a melting pot of
various races, concocted from six major ethnic groups. The Negritos, Proto Austrics,
Mongoloids, Dravidians, Western Brachycephals and Nordic Aryans are our ancestors.
Over time, this conglomeration of different races, cultures, languages, and rituals led
to discord, disorder, and division. The land was dark and without order. Inequality,
untouchability, illiteracy, female infanticide, child marriage, child sacrifice, sati, and
backwardness dominated it. Many beautiful languages, traditions, and even clans were
on the verge of extinction. So, God stepped in. Just as Moses was sent to organise,
guide, and lead Israel, God sent a multitude of missionaries to prune, organise, and
nurture India. They did not come only to proclaim the gospel but also to bind up the
broken, enlighten the blind, and release the oppressed.


Ultimately, God was at the potter’s wheel, smoothing out rough edges and shaping the
populace to make India what it is today. In this post-modern era where revisionists
modify history to accommodate their propaganda, it is important that we know how
our God orchestrated the history of India. Here are some books by experts on the
subject who have spent years on research to bring forth the truth of how India
emerged out of the great Potter’s wheel.


Let there be India! Impact of the Bible on Nation Building


“Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and
the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters. And God said, “Let there be light,” and
there was light.” (Genesis 1:2,3)


What happens when God calls a nation into existence? What happened when God
said, “Let there be India”? Dr. Babu K. Verghese, a journalist, historian, and media
consultant, has sketched out the Genesis of India in the capsule edition of his book
“Let There Be India! Impact of the Bible on Nation Building”. As the New Testament
begins with the genealogy of Christ, Dr. Verghese gives us the genealogy of Indians
right from Adam. Then he goes on to talk about the history of Indian languages—how
they were at risk of extinction and how the Bible people revived them. Missionary
activities to abolish inequality based on caste, cruel traditions, and the oppression of
women are also a running theme in the book.


It is an extensive research project on what the missionaries did in various parts of the
country during different time periods and how their efforts revolutionised Indian
linguistics, literacy, culture, and even humanity. It’s an account of India’s journey from
traditions to modernity, from insular to global, and from national to international. The
book was originally a doctoral thesis by Dr. Babu Verghese, which was approved by
the University of Nagpur and for which a major part of the research took place at the
Oxford University library facilities in England. He has also included material from
resources collected from archives and museums in over 25 countries.


The Bible in India: The Making of a Nation


Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment. (John 7:24)


This book is only 72 pages long, but its contents explode like a barrel of gun powder.
The author, Vishal Mangalwadi, is an Indian Christian philosopher, writer, social
reformer, and political columnist. He effortlessly encases years of Bible’s transforming
effect on India within this tiny book. The crux of the book is how the Bible people
challenged traditional fatalism and triggered the 19th
-century Indian Renaissance.
However, Mangalwadi also sheds light on the Bible’s transforming effect on the
corrupt British rule that initially sought only to exploit India to appease their greed.
Events fostered by Charles Grant, William Wilberforce, William Carey, and many
other European missionaries pushed India towards becoming a modern nation. The
establishment of Western Christian education in India did not just hasten literacy in
the country but also equipped its citizens to govern themselves.


The Bible in India is the second book in Dr. Vishal Mangalwadi’s ‘Wisdom from India’
series. In an easy-to-read format, the book explains how the Bible made India a
modern, developing nation on its way to becoming a great nation. The closing chapter,
“The Bible and India’s Future,”, boldly confronts and enlightens current leaders to
align themselves with God’s Word to make India a blessing to the world.


The Father of Modern India: William Carey


“Well done, good and faithful servant” (Matthew 25:23)


Many books have been written about this servant of God and his ministry in India. But
Vishal and Ruth Mangalwadi’s book aims to help us see how Carey’s missionary efforts
are of profound contemporary significance to India’s regeneration. People familiar
with William Carey’s work may already know how William Carey was not just a
Biblepreaching missionary but was also an educator, industrialist, botanist, agriculturist,
media pioneer, and more. But this book divulges much more than what he did; it
expounds on the birth of modern India as a consequence of what he did. The selfless,
sacrificial life of William Carey espouses the truth that light always triumphs over
darkness.


Reading about how one poor little man transformed a nation with unyielding
determination to do good sets the heart of readers to arise and be ‘the salt and light’
Christ called us to be. Carey’s bold stand against cruel societal norms gives us courage
to confront the evil in today’s society. Other books on this legend, William Carey –
Father of Missions, from the Heroes of Faith series, and The Legacy of William Carey,
are excellent supplementary reads available at Triaze.com


Christianity In India: Conversion, Community Development,
And Religious Freedom:


For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more
exceeding and eternal weight of glory (2 Corinthians 4:17)


Conversion to Christianity continues to be a controversial topic of discussion in India.
Society questions the legitimacy of conversion and oppresses Christian communities
even in this progressive age. Yet, Christian missionaries and evangelists continue their
selfless work towards the betterment of Indian society, knowing full well that their
efforts welcome persecution. Rebecca Samuel Shah and Joel Carpenter, scholars in
religion, have documented the outsized role of Christians in India in their book
‘Christianity in India: Conversion, Community Development, And Religious Freedom’.


Christianity’s part in promoting human rights, providing education and healthcare,
fighting injustice and exploitation, and stimulating economic uplift for the poor is well
chronicled in the essays of this 300-page book. The essays draw on intimate and
personal encounters with Christians in India, past and present, and address the
challenges of religious freedom in contemporary India. It equips the reader with facts,
evidence, and vital points for argument to use in debates with dogmatists who
discriminate against Christianity. With interesting chapters like ‘Bollywood and the
BJP: An Analysis of Indian Identity in Karan Johar’s Films’, the book is sure to be a
quick read worth your time.


India: The Grand Experiment


He makes wars to cease to the end of the earth; He breaks the bow and cuts the spear in
two; He burns the chariots with fire. “Cease striving and know that I am God; I will be
exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” (Psalm 46:8-1
0)


Another gem from Dr. Vishal Mangalwadi, this is an outline of the key political events
from the 19th–20th centuries on the Indian subcontinent. ‘India: The Grand
Experiment” is an answer to those who question the influence and benefits of
Christian missionaries in the development of India. It recounts India’s inability to
develop as a nation, the atrocious philosophies and traditions that pulled the country
backward, and the British East India Company’s rampage over a helpless nation. The
arrival of Christian missionaries caused this struggle to cease and ushered in the
growth of India’s infrastructure. How linguistic developments and revolutions in
medicine, education, journalism, and the media were hastened in India by Christian
missionaries are documented with evidence from attested sources.


With a foreword from Mr. Ram Gidoomal and scholars praising it as the most notable
book about India, this will be one of the most important reads of your life.


Truth Transforms: A Manifesto for Ailing Nations


“Come, and let us return to the LORD; For He has torn, but He will heal us; He has
stricken, but He will bind us up. After two days He will revive us; On the third day He
will raise us up, that we may live in His sight.” (Hosea 6:1,2)


Author Vishal Mangalwadi is often nicknamed ‘the Indian Francis Schaeffer’ and that
is for good reason. Just as Schaeffer often conveyed that the Bible contains answers to
all sorts of questions, Mangalwadi helps us see the world through a Biblical lens.
Endorsed by big names like Chuck Colson and Dallas Willard, this is a reliable survey
on the Gospel’s power to reform societies. It is also a wakeup call to the nations of the
world and to the church to again embrace God’s way of life, lest they crumble and fall.
The book portrays Christianity as something much more than a religion, it is a
manifesto, a way of life, whether we realise it or not. Embracing it has shaped the
gigantic societies of the west, and spurning it has caused their slow but steady decline.
Reading the book is an experience; it’s page after page of eye-opening statements and
assertions. And many readers have admitted that the book felt like having a face-to face
conversation with the author. The older edition of the book was called Truth and Transformation.
The new edition is mainly for Asia and Africa, and can be ordered here.


Missionary Conspiracy: Letters To A Postmodern Hindu


“Do not say, ‘A conspiracy,’ concerning all that this people call a conspiracy, nor be
afraid of their threats, nor be troubled. The Lord of hosts, Him you shall hallow” (Isaiah
8:12,13)


Was colonialism the motive behind missionary arrivals in British-ruled India? Or was
it merely a religious stunt, a conspiracy, to propagate a religion? Dr. Vishal
Mangalwadi agrees that missionaries were indeed a part of a conspiracy, but a
conspiracy not of the British Empire but of the kingdom of God. The Missionary
Conspiracy is a logical deconstruction of false assumptions about Christian missionary
work in India. The 10 incisive letters and 3 historical appendices in the book debunk
the postulation that English missionaries were tools of colonialism in the hands of the
British East India Company. Missionary Conspiracy is Dr. Vishal Mangalwadi’s answer
to Mr. Arun Shourie (an Indian journalist and minister of the Federal Government),
explaining that Christian missionaries did not arrive to decimate India but to bless the
nation with their reformary works in the fields of literacy, medicine, the humanities,
and more.


Conclusion:


Then He said to them, “But now, he who has a money bag, let him take it, and likewise a
knapsack; and he who has no sword, let him sell his garment and buy one. (Luke 22:36)


Christ has commanded us to be well equipped for ministry work. Wisdom from these
books is a vital addition to every Christian’s inventory of knowledge. As the world
today is adamantly set on refuting Christianity and its intent, it is every Christian’s
duty to keep their firearms loaded with knowledge of Bible’s history in India. And in a
land where revisionists and conspiracy theorists assert dominance, it is our
responsibility to learn the truth about India’s growth at the hands of Christian
missionaries. Books on missionaries are generally considered tedious, uninteresting,
and complex. But the above-mentioned authors have broken the myth by writing
simple yet piercing prose that enlightens the mind and quickens the heart. The books
are available and ready to be shipped on www.triaze.com. Order your copies today!

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