Warning about "The Bible Project" (2023)

June 22, 2020

TBC Staff

“Hell–or evil or sin, the various names it’s called in the Bible–is something that humans have created” — Tim Mackie, creator of The Bible Project (9:35 in video).


This morning we discovered The Bible Project. We watched the teaching about the prophet Ezekiel. It was so well done, so clear in its graphics and explanation, that we were bowled over. So bowled overthat the link was sent out to others.

We were pretty excited. But after doing some research, we realized The Bible Project should not be recommended–rather should people be warned. Mackie’s claim (given on his podcast) that “humans havecreated” hell is not the worst of it.

[Southern Baptist] Pastor Gabe Hughes notes that, “It’s Tim Mackie who is distorting the doctrine of the atonement.” Like the author of The Shack, and so many others these days, Mackie gobbledegooksunderstanding about the atonement.

[For example.] "Propitiation: The act of appeasing the wrath of God.” [*Definition of propitiation taken from video.]

"For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God, being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus, whom God displayed publicly as a propitiation in His bloodthrough faith. This was to demonstrate His righteousness, because in the forbearance of God He passed over the sins previously committed (Romans:3:23-25 [23] For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; [24] Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: [25] Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;
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"Therefore, He had to be made like His brethren in all things, so that He might become a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people" (Hebrews2:17).

"And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for those of the whole world" (1 John:2:2And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.
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"In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins" (1 John:4:10Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
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As Pastor Hughes makes clear, The Bible Project, despite many wonderful videos, is not to be recommended. Omit propitiation and you have a different doctrine of the atonement. A different atonementmeans a different Jesus.

For no man can lay a foundation other than the one which is laid, which is Christ Jesus. (1 Corinthians:3:11For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.
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[TBC:The Bible Projectexplains the atonement in their video “Sacrifice and Atonement”.Tim Mackie, the main narrator and theological overseer ofthe project, states that Jesus’ death had two functions. First, His death“covered the debt that humans owe God for contributing to all of theevil and death in His world.” Further, it provided purification for sin,in that Jesus’ blood is “a symbol of his life having this ability to washawaythe vandalism that evil has caused in and around us so we can nowlive at peace with God.”

Technically, these two points are true. Jesus speaksof “debt” in talking about God’s forgiveness in the parableof the unmerciful servant (Matt:18:21-35 [21] Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times? [22] Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven. [23] Therefore is the kingdom of heaven likened unto a certain king, which would take account of his servants. [24] And when he had begun to reckon, one was brought unto him, which owed him ten thousand talents. [25] But forasmuch as he had not to pay, his lord commanded him to be sold, and his wife, and children, and all that he had, and payment to be made. [26] The servant therefore fell down, and worshipped him, saying, Lord, have patience with me, and I will pay thee all. [27] Then the lord of that servant was moved with compassion, and loosed him, and forgave him the debt. [28] But the same servant went out, and found one of his fellowservants, which owed him an hundred pence: and he laid hands on him, and took him by the throat, saying, Pay me that thou owest. [29] And his fellowservant fell down at his feet, and besought him, saying, Have patience with me, and I will pay thee all. [30] And he would not: but went and cast him into prison, till he should pay the debt. [31] So when his fellowservants saw what was done, they were very sorry, and came and told unto their lord all that was done. [32] Then his lord, after that he had called him, said unto him, O thou wicked servant, I forgave thee all that debt, because thou desiredst me: [33] Shouldest not thou also have had compassion on thy fellowservant, even as I had pity on thee? [34] And his lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due unto him. [35] So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses.
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). Also, Jesus corrected Simon the Pharisee,after Simon disapproved of Jesus’ feet being washed and anointed by a “sinful” woman (Luke:7:36-50 [36] And one of the Pharisees desired him that he would eat with him. And he went into the Pharisee's house, and sat down to meat. [37] And, behold, a woman in the city, which was a sinner, when she knew that Jesus sat at meat in the Pharisee's house, brought an alabaster box of ointment, [38] And stood at his feet behind him weeping, and began to wash his feet with tears, and did wipe them with the hairs of her head, and kissed his feet, and anointed them with the ointment. [39] Now when the Pharisee which had bidden him saw it, he spake within himself, saying, This man, if he were a prophet, would have known who and what manner of woman this is that toucheth him: for she is a sinner. [40] And Jesus answering said unto him, Simon, I have somewhat to say unto thee. And he saith, Master, say on. [41] There was a certain creditor which had two debtors: the one owed five hundred pence, and the other fifty. [42] And when they had nothing to pay, he frankly forgave them both. Tell me therefore, which of them will love him most? [43] Simon answered and said, I suppose that he, to whom he forgave most. And he said unto him, Thou hast rightly judged. [44] And he turned to the woman, and said unto Simon, Seest thou this woman? I entered into thine house, thou gavest me no water for my feet: but she hath washed my feet with tears, and wiped them with the hairs of her head. [45] Thou gavest me no kiss: but this woman since the time I came in hath not ceased to kiss my feet. [46] My head with oil thou didst not anoint: but this woman hath anointed my feet with ointment. [47] Wherefore I say unto thee, Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much: but to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little. [48] And he said unto her, Thy sins are forgiven. [49] And they that sat at meat with him began to say within themselves, Who is this that forgiveth sins also? [50] And he said to the woman, Thy faith hath saved thee; go in peace.
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). Scripture further says that the blood of Jesus “cleanses us from all sin” (1John:1:7The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe.
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WhatThe Bible Projectdoesn’t address is any recognition of the cross as a propitiation (satisfaction/payment) for “sin” itself. That is, the once for all sacrifice (Hebrews:10:12But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God;
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) paid the penalty of “sin,” making salvation possible for sinful humanity. This aspect of the atonement is taught throughout the Bible, but especially in the New Testament in Romans chapters 1-4.]

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