Conservative biblical-theological preachers, sailing in the wake of Gerhardus Vos, tend to ignore (or even oppose) the use of application in a sermon. They expect the listener to make his own application (if any) of the sweeping truths they set forth on their excursions from Genesis to Revelation as they chase down a figure or a theme. Or, like Barth, they leave the application to God. The two major differences between some present-day preachers and Barth is that the former (1) do not hold to the neoorthodox “encounter,” and (2) are less concerned about the contemporary scene than Barth.
Abhorrence of direct application leads biblical-theological preachers of this sort into common ground with many liberals who believe that the use of the indicative alone, to the exclusion of the imperative, is adequate. At best, such preaching is applied (if at all) by implication; at worst, only by inference. Application becomes the task of the listener rather than the preacher.
~Jay Adams, Truth Applied, 20-21.