I took philosophy sophomore year of college; once a week, on Tuesday nights from 6pm-9pm. Now, it could have been a truly atrocious experience if I had the typical philosophy professor. But my professor was anything but typical– he was brilliant, yes, but more than that, he loved Jesus and taught us all that Jesus was the ultimate subject of philosophy.
I remember a particular class in which we discussed “chairness.” A chair, a simple inanimate object, represented an aspect of basic Christian philosophy this way: unless you believe that the chair is really there and that it will do what you have been told it will do (i.e. hold you up; support your weight), you won’t sit in it. You must actually acknowledge what the chair is, what the chair does, and then act accordingly by sitting in it, allowing it to fulfill its prupose. The essence of “chairness” then is made manifest when someone proves it through use.
This idea came to mind recently when a friend of mine referred to God as a 4 legged chair.
You have to believe in all aspects of God the same way you believe that all 4 legs of a chair work. You wouldn’t sit in a chair if it only had 2 legs. Why? Because it’s not balanced; it couldn’t support you because it would be unstable. Same with God– we must believe that He is as faithful and good as He is sovereign and just.
This has really wrecked me over the course of the last week because the more I think about it, the more I think I am not sitting in the God-Chair. I see God and acknowledge who He is and what He does. But I don’t know that I am truly resting my whole self into His character, nature, and Spirit.
I tried to break down what the 4 legs of the God-Chair might be; here’s what I came up with: faithfulness, mercy, justice, and goodness. One way of aligning them could this: His faithfulness shows His mercy; His mercy gives way to His justice; and because He is just, He is good.
Or you could rearrange it– His mercy proves His faithfulness, and his goodness demonstrates His justice.
Or you could scramble it this way– His justice reveals his faithfulness in the same way that His mercy flows out of His goodness.
They all, each attribute, reflect and demand the other. There is no loop-hole here– He is complete; in all, through all, and for all. His holiness demands perfection and His perfection shows Him holy.
What do you think the 4 legs of the God-Chair are?