The article deals with the teleological argument, or argument from design, as expounded by a famous English Protestant theologian Richard Baxter, one of the leading 17-th century English Puritans, in his work “The Reasons of the Christian Religion”. Natural theology, providing arguments for the existence of God based on reason and without appeal to the Revelation, has always played a vital role throughout the entire history of theological thought. The most popular was the so called teleological argument, or the argument from design, which stands out among all rational arguments for the existence of the Creator. It is mostly known from the “Fifth Way” of the medieval Scholastic philosopher Thomas Aquinas and a famous work “Natural Theology” by an English 19-th century theologian William Paley. The foundation for the modern research in the area was laid during the age of the Scientific Revolution of the 17th century English nature philosophers and theologians, especially Robert Boyle, who believed the teleological argument to be the key element of Natural Theology. His friend and confessor, Richard Baxter, a prominent representative of the Puritan Natural Theology, mostly known by his theological works, paved the way for Natural Theology both in his own time and the following centuries. His work was thought to be the best collection of the evidences for Christianity.
first cause, philosophy of nature, natural theology, teleological argument, God's existence, argument from design, rational design, Christianity, Puritans, Robert Boyle, Richard Baxter, Protestantism
*According to the International Standard Classification of Education (ISCED) 2011, the degree of Candidate of Sciences (Cand.Sc.) belongs to ISCED level 8 — "doctoral or equivalent", together with PhD, DPhil, D.Lit, D.Sc, LL.D, Doctorate or similar.
The article is written within the framework of the project № 15-03-00211 "Metaphysics in the intercultural space: history and modernity" supported by RFBR Foundation