Question: A friend who quoted what you had to say about Jay Gary’s book The Star of 2000 has been contacted by Gary and asked to make a retraction. What should he do? [Because of the large number of leading evangelicals who continue to endorse this book we felt that this question ought to be answered publicly and frankly.]
Answer: He needs to read the book for himself and come to his own conclusions. Gary also asked for a retraction from me, claiming that the gospel was clearly presented at least four or five times in his book. I asked him to tell me where the gospel was stated. He responded and here is my reply:
I’ve received and read with interest your letter of July 21 and stand by my statement in The Berean Call that “the gospel does not appear” in your book The Star of 2000. You mention that “chapter 3 shares the story of how the church has aimed to take the Gospel to the world by the year 2000.” True, but the gospel itself does not appear in that chapter. The gospel “is the power of God unto salvation to everyone who believes [it]” (Rom:1:16). There is nothing either in that chapter or in the entire book that would bring a reader to salvation in Christ. Furthermore, that chapter praises Pope John Paul II and the Vatican’s New Evangelization 2000 as well as Fr. Tom Forrest who heads it and suggests that the Roman Catholic “gospel” is the true gospel.
You also say that “part of chapter 10 addresses the unfinished task of evangelization around the world.” True, but again the gospel itself does not appear. You write of “the tremendous glory, beauty and dignity the people of the world have and can bring before God in honor of Christ” (p 121) and of inviting “others to Jesus’ celebration of civilization” (p 122). Since when was the civilization of this world worth celebrating or worthy to celebrate Jesus (your meaning is uncertain)? It also praises a Roman Catholic priest who pointed the Masai “to Jesus as the lion of the clan of Judah” (p 124). These “believers” now celebrate a dancing Eucharist and testify that “The Word of God has come to save the beautiful things we have in our customs, and...to make us better Masai.” What gospel is this?!
You quote from page 31, “God triumphs over misery, pain and evil, not through force, but through self-sacrifice on the cross,” as “a direct reference to the substitutionary atoning death of the Lord Jesus Christ on the cross on behalf of sinners.” That may be what you had in mind, but it could just as well be understood as a humanistic glorification of “self-sacrifice.” Certainly the gospel is not stated. A full rebuttal of your letter would only produce further similar examples and would be redundant.
Not only is the gospel not contained therein, but your book is filled with so many false ideas (such as the man saved to “real life” by an angel, who is gratefully painting 2,000 angels, etc.) that any feeble hint at the gospel would be obscured.