We want to bring our readers’ attention to numerous reports presented by John Lanagan’s blog, The Word Like Fire. The reports are documented exposés on the co-founder of the highly popular Bible Project, Tim Mackie.
The Bible Project began in 2014 and was created by Tim Mackie and his friend Jonathan Collins. The project consists of short animated videos about the Bible and currently has three and a half million subscribers on YouTube. Mackie studied at Western Seminary and is currently an adjunct professor there. Western has been on the Lighthouse Trails Contemplative College list for many years.
The first report The Word Like Fire did is titled “Tyler Staton, Ruth Haley Barton, and Contemplative Prayer” and highlights Tyler Staton and his book, Praying Like Monks, Living Like Fools, of which Mackie wrote the foreword and who is closely connected with Staton. This report sets some groundwork on foundational beliefs to which Mackie holds.
The next report is titled “Tim Mackie’s (The Bible Project) Rejection of Key Biblical Doctrine” showing Mackie’s distorted views on Hell and the Atonement.
Next is “Bible Project’s Tim Mackie and Contemplative Prayer,” again providing documentation on Mackie’s significant contemplative propensities.
On March 16th of this year, The Word Like Fire posted “Bible Project’s Tim Mackie Believes Penal Substitutionary Atonement Stems From Pagan Sacrifice Rituals,” which reveals Mackie’s odd and emergent views on the Atonement. As we read this article, we are reminded of Roger Oakland’s work called “Atonement Rejected.” Oakland shows how emergent/progressive/contemplative figures such as Brian McLaren reject penal substitutionary atonement (the shedding of blood by Jesus Christ to take our place and died violently to save us from our sins). Many progressives in this camp say that if penal atonement were true, then it makes God an angry, vindictive, and barbaric God. It appears that Tim Mackie is one who believes this. And if this is the case, then millions who are being influenced by the Bible Project are potentially going to be introduced to this concept of the Atonement. Of course, millions of Christians were already introduced to the rejection of penal atonement through The Shack as Lighthouse Trails wrote about in 2009.
The Word Like Fire’s most recent exposé on Tim Mackie is titled “Altered States of Consciousness in Bible, Believes Bible Project’s Tim Mackie.” The article begins with a definition of altered states of consciousness (written by LT author Kevin Reeves):
Altered State of Consciousness: A meditative or drug-induced non-ordinary state of mind. In a religious context, a state where the seeker is drawn out of his normal thinking processes into “self-realization” or contact with what he considers the divine or divine wisdom.
The article concludes by saying:
[T]here are consequences for delving into contemplative practices. The contemplative-prayer-altered-state-of consciousness can open one to demonic deception. It alters and addles one’s theology. It is long past time to take a hard look at exactly what Tim Mackie believes and teaches and to determine which of Mackie’s sermons and numerous Bible Project videos and podcasts are in error.
If you, your church, or your loved ones are watching the Bible Project, we encourage you to consider what John Lanagan has revealed about the co-founder and co-creator of that project and pray for God’s discernment and wisdom regarding it. Please weigh everything that proclaims to be Christian against Scripture.