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Vishal Mangalwadi is an international lecturer, social reformer, and political columnist for The International Indian. He has also written ten books, including The World of Gurus and India, The Grand Experiment. His current project is the ambitious The Book that Shaped a Millennium.

How did you come to the Christian faith?

It was an immoral struggle as a teenager.  I had gone into habit of lying and stealing and felt that this was wrong, but didn't have enough willpower to get out. The gospel that Jesus can save me from my sin came as a very liberating force.

When I was doing my undergraduate studies in philosophy at the University of Allahabad, India, I began to doubt whether the Bible was God's Word. It was after six months of intense intellectual struggle that I came back to see that Bible was actually God's Word.

What helped you in that struggle?

Well, one critical book was Francis Schaeffer's Escape from Reason. I had completed a course in Western philosophy when I began reading it. I realized … that philosophers knew that they couldn't know truth. So, unless there is someone who knows it and can reveal it to us, we cannot know.

I went back to seeking whether God actually revealed himself to us in the Bible. Reading First and Second Chronicles, I came back to believe that this is actually God's word.

Why First and Second Chronicles?

I was reading from Genesis on so by the time I came to Chronicles I felt, "Why should I be reading this?" I'm an Indian young man, I don't know enough about Indian history. Why should I be reading this Jewish history? I was getting bored reading about kings long dead and gone.

And then, as I was ready to throw it all away, I realized suddenly that this was very strange history. Indian history is ...

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October 2002

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