Earlier I likened the life of Christian holiness to a three-legged stool, in which the three legs were:
- D (doctrine: truth taken into the mind and heart to live by)
- E (experience: the conscientious pursuit and conscious enjoyment of fellowship with the Father and the Son)
- P (practice: in the sense of the specific and habitual response of obedience to the doctrinal truth one has received).
The point of the illustration was that a stool cannot stand on less than its three legs. In the absence of any one of them, the stool falls down. If one leg is larger or smaller than the other two, stability is lost, and the stool is in danger of tipping over as soon as any weight is put on it. So it is only when D, E, and P are balanced together in proper proportions that the spiritual life is solid and steady.
*Excerpt from "Rediscovering Holiness" by J. I. Packer (p. 57).