./ede-scriptbuswhere, as you guessed correctly, you are using separated color components. The good thing about (set-xsettings) is how it will figure out parameter type and send correct message to evoke.
> (set-xsettings "Fltk/Background" '(R G B A))
Due the nature of XSETTINGS protocol, changes will be instantly applied.
Too bad Gtk+ (as it implements XSETTINGS) does not implement some keys for changing foreground and background colors, so we could apply color changes on Gtk+ apps too.