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Bird Cage or Bird Bath?

We can look at creeds (and theology in general) as either functioning like a bird cage or a bird bath. The “bird cage” seeks to encase Christian belief within certain expressions with no chance for expansion or development. The “bird bath” provides the source of life with the water in the bath as birds come and go in freedom.

The bird bath model opens possibilities for growth and development in our thought as we are nourished and refreshed by the “waters” of Scripture as well as the creedal expressions that have proceeded us in the faith. It does not mean we will fly off into nothingness or non-belief. It means we will continually come back to the living waters that provide what we need to follow the trajectories toward which the Bible points; and follow the directions our creedal traditions aim us toward.

- Donald McKim, Gathering Voices (The Thoughtful Christian blog)
February 26, 2011