Dever, McKnight, the Atonement and a question few are asking

Long story short: Mark Dever has posted an excellent article on the atonement which has Scot McKight in a huff. Others like Phil Johnson have caught-on to McKnight’s obvious hypocrisy but the whole thing presents a question that few are asking: Would McKnight have these problems with Dever’s explanation and defense of penal substitution if he (McKnight) did not hold to his various source critical views of the Gospels? I do think it matters and the two are related. Dever notes this in his article and Denny Burk asks a similar question in the comment thread of McKnight’s post. Burk questions, “I would be interested to hear you respond to Dever’s suggestion that you have rejected “Mark’s theologizing” of Jesus’s words in Mark 10:45.” So would I Denny because there is a source critical approach to the text of the Gospels that appears to be driving McKnight’s theology. Until such an issue is dealt with this argument will continue to be played by different sets of rules and on different playing fields.

One response to this post.

  1. Good eye, Paul. McKnight seems to be taking a page right out of the ol’ Jesus Seminar playbook.

    “Let’s see now. The words here attributed to Christ by the gospel writer don’t exactly fit my theological presuppositions, so they obviously can’t be Christ’s words. They must be some theological words the gospel writer is putting into Christ’s mouth after the fact. Now–that’s better!”

    The irony here is that McKnight chides Dever for not dealing with actual texts as his primary line of argumentation, but in reality it’s McKnight who actually dismisses a text(s?) in order to justify his conclusions! Pyro is right–this is bald hypocrisy on display.

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