One reason is our refusal to look at the situation we’re in.
Again, citing the sufficiency/power/what-you-like, we often proudly refuse to lift a finger to help the lost, preach with clarity, strategize for mission, or otherwise do anything to shake ourselves out of traditionalism or passivity.
We downplay “techniques” and “strategies” for the contemporary situation because we are – we say – honoring scripture. My contention isn’t against honoring God’s word – just the opposite. I believe those citing this line over and against technique don’t, in fact, believe it.
Why? Because true honoring of God’s word requires a careful study of our situation.
Think of it: how does one “obey your parents” if you don’t know who your parents are? At least that much is required. Furthermore, obedience requires an understanding of your parents’ particular desires and needs, as well as the particulars of your culture which make for “honoring”.
But let’s press further back: someone, somewhere, had to understand the Hebrew language, as well as the grammar, syntax, and vocabulary of the English language in contemporary usage to translate that commandment for you. You also have a basic grasp of your situation – the language your situation provides – to comprehend.
You couldn’t possibly downplay any of these understandings in the name of honoring scripture.
Scripture is normative, no doubt. But a norm without a situation isn’t a norm at all. It’s just an abstraction. And that’s a lot of the reformed mold – abstraction by abstraction from abstraction. That’s not obedience, but hypocrisy.
I might also put it so boldly: Understanding the situation is not less important than obeying scripture – it IS obeying scripture. If we refuse to understand our situation, fine – but let’s at least set aside the notion that our motive is the honor of God’s word.