Three Realms, Two Kingdoms, and a Partridge in a Pear Tree

Three Realms, Two Kingdoms, and a Partridge in a Pear Tree July 9, 2014

Uh oh…


There’s not actually a post here. Bait/Switch. Now you know why I’m the pseudepigrapher.

If I were to write a post on these topics, the following bullet-points would be my very bare-bones notes. With that said, I’d like to start a discussion, and I’m hoping that interested readers will work with me in the comments. Perhaps after a little combox dialectic has transpired, I’ll be ready to write an actual post.


  • The three realms are the sacred, the profane and the mundane.
    • The sacred is that which is of God.
    • The profane is that which is of the Devil.
    • The mundane is that which is of the World.
  • The Kingdom of the Right Hand is the Kingdom of the Gospel.
  • The Kingdom of the Left Hand is the Kingdom of the Law.
  • The “Partridge in a Pear Tree” is Christ on the Cross — threw that in there just for fun/to justify the title of this pseudo-post. Don’t get too hung up on this.

It occurs to me that we might — emphasis on might; I’m not sure yet — be able in some way to relate the above three realms with the tripartite distinction made by Dr. Joel Biermann in A Case for Character: Towards a Lutheran Virtue Ethics.

My summary of “The Biermann Trifecta”:

  • Three articles of the Creed;
  • Three uses of the Law;
  • Three kinds of righteousness:
  1. The Order of Creation (Article 1 of the Creed)
    • The Law as Curb
    • Merely civil righteousness in the City of Man; coram mundo, “before the world”
    • Government, politics, civil society
  1. The Order of Redemption (Article 2 of the Creed)
    • The Law as Mirror
    • The passive, imputed righteousness of Christ; coram Deo propter Christum, “before God on account of Christ”
    • Justification, the forgiveness of sins received by grace through faith alone
  2. The Order of Sanctification (Article 3 of the Creed)
    • The Law as Guide
    • The active, incipient righteousness of holy living; coram hominibus in Christo, “before men in Christ”
    • Sanctification, the new obedience, good works, serving our neighbor in our vocations, the fruit of the Spirit

So…thoughts, anybody? I’ll be watching the comments.


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