It is critical in theology to consider whether the view one defends is actually derived from Scripture or is only, at best, compatible with Scripture.
Consider, for instance, applying the question “compatible or derived?” to the various positions held on the topic of origins. While atheistic evolution is immediately rejected by Christians — and rightly so — some have attempted to defend a “theistic” evolution. Others, perhaps seeing insurmountable problems for any form of evolution, defend various theories of Old Earth Creationism. But not even the olympic-level exegetical gymnastics of a Hugh Ross can make the Bible actually teach one of these positions. The best that proponents of one of these views can do is attempt to defend the position that their view is compatible with Scripture. But what they cannot do — what they absolute cannot do — is to actually derive these views from the Bible.
Compatibility is insufficient in Reformed theology. We want to know what the Scriptures actually teach. We want to know God’s Word, not what might be compatible with God’s Word. The quest for compatibility runs the risk of eisegeis, but derived theology is exegetical theology. Theology should be limited to the explicit teachings of the Scripture along with that which by “good and necessary consequence” may be deduced from Scripture. With this “Scripture principle” the Reformed theologian defends the regulative view of worship over the inroads of “compatibility” inherent in the normative principle. That is, while others introduce contemporary dance and fog machines into the sanctuary Reformed theology limits the elements of worship to those that are commanded in the Scriptures.
In all realms, the Reformed Christian seeks to derive his views from the Scripture. We don’t look for how Aristotle, Freud, or Dewey can be made compatible with Scripture. The Word of God and it alone is our guide.