Intellectuals and artists concerned with faith tend to underestimate the radical, inviolable innocence it requires. We read and read, write long, elaborate essays and letters, engage in endlessly inflected philosophical debates. We talk of poetry as prayer, artistic discipline as a species of religious devotion, doubt as the purest form of faith. These ideas are not inherently false. Indeed, there may be a deep truth in them. But the truth is, you might say, on the other side of innocence—permanently. That is, you don’t once pass through religious innocence into the truths of philosophy or theology or literature, any more than you pass through the wonder of childhood into the wisdom of age.
Christian Wiman, My Bright Abyss.