How Robert J. Spitzer Makes his Case for Christianity

Robert J. Spitzer is a brilliant Catholic priest and apologist. In the past few years he wrote a series of four books that represent his case for Christianity. The books are “Finding True happiness”, “The Soul’s Upward Yearning”, “God so loved the World” and “The Light Shines On in the Darkness”.

Spitzer’s case for Christianity can be seen as twofold:

1) proving that Christianity is objectively true in its description of reality

2) proving that Christianity is objectively fulfilling with regards to the desires and needs of the heart.

Point 1) brings the honest non believer who claims to follow the evidence wherever it leads to accept Christianity whether he likes it or not; point 2) brings the non believer to desire and hope for the truth of point 1) whether it is true or not.

If in fact you prove that only Christianity can fulfill perfectly your transcendent needs (i.e need for perfect truth, love, justice, goodness, beauty and home), only a mad person would desire for it to be false.

Making a case for both point 1) and 2) is fundamental, because by proving point 2) he who inquires is keen to accept more easily point 1).

The goal of Spitzer is to show that Christianity is objectively true and that Christianity represents what our restless heart ultimately desire for.  Such approach first of all shows what reality is, and second it shows that this reality is infinitely beautiful, hence bringing the most stubborn minds and hearts into accepting what reality really is.

But Spitzer does more than this. As he shows in his book “The Soul’s Upward Yearning: Clues to Our Transcendent Nature from Experience and Reason”, the very existence of the desires of the heart points to the Truth of Christianity. We can say that the desires of the heart not only show that the Christianity represents what we wish to be true, but that Christianity is the only explanation by which such desires make sense. In simpler words, the subjective needs of the heart point to the objective truth of Christianity. Or, to restate the twofold approach previously mentioned, the sole defense of point 2) proves the truthfulness of point 1).

To be more precise Spizer unfolds point 1) and 2) and their relation in the following way: in “The Soul’s Upward Yearning” he shows how our transcendent desires prove the existence of Christian Theism (i.e. The existence of God with the main attributes commonly appropriated to the Christian God like omnipotence, omniscience, omnipresence, simplicity, asiety, His necessary and unconditional existence). Then in his book “God So Loved the World: Clues to Our Transcendent Destiny from the Revelation of Jesus“ he answers the question whether this Christian-like God is unconditionally loving (which, if true, would fulfill the ultimate desires of our hearts). He answers this question by affirming that God is also unconditionally loving, by a) showing that Jesus in His revelation claims to be and is unconditionally loving just as His heavenly Father is; to then b) validate Jesus’ claims by proving the historicity of His resurrection which reasonably brings to the conclusion that He was truly divine and that, consequently, His assertions had infinite authority.

Hence Spitzer proves that a personal transcendent God exists through philosophical and scientific arguments, and then, through historical arguments he proves that such God is unconditionally loving. By doing this, he demonstrates that the needs of the intellect (objective truth) and the heart (transcendent desires) are both satisfied only in Christianity.

Amedeo Da Pra