Reader P. J. offers us for delectation and analysis the following quotation from Brother Lawrence, The Practice of the Presence of God:
[Brother Lawrence] was eighteen at the time, and still in the world. He told me that it had all happened one winter day, as he was looking at a barren tree. Although the tree's leaves were indeed gone, he knew that they would soon reappear, followed by blossoms and then fruit. This gave him a profound impression of God's providence and power which never left him. Brother Lawrence still maintains that his impression detached him entirely from the world and gave him such a great love for God that it hasn't changed in all of the forty years he has been walking with Him.
P. J. comments that
. . . nature is sometimes said to serve as a 'signpost' to God's existence, without the need for auxiliary premises such as the complexity of things, the orderly patterns of substances as described by the laws of nature, the intelligibility of the world, and so on and on. It is almost as if -- at least for Br. Lawrence -- nature, just by being there, served to point toward God in a primitive or non-inferential way. Nature, for him, pointed not simply to God's existence, but to a more positive account of God as the providential orderer of nature.
I admit that I don't know where to take this idea, or how far it can be taken, but it strikes me as an interesting topic to research in natural theology: the way(s) in which nature, without the aid of auxiliary premises, can point to God's existence, and to a more content-rich account of the divine attributes.
An entity is a natural sign if by its very nature, it represents some other entity or would-be entity, that is , if it is an intrinsically intentional entity. (Natural Signs: A Theory of Intentionality, Temple UP, 1989, p. 29)
Q. Does the the natural world, by its sheer existence, directly show (i.e., show without the aid of auxiliary premises), that there exists a transcendent creator of the natural world?
Q*. Does the apparent designedness of the natural order directly show the existence of a transcendent designer?
Q**. Does the beauty of "The starry skies above me" (Kant) directly show that this beauty has a transcendent Source which "all men call God" (Aquinas)?