What’s the most basic concept you can think of? Some folks might say it was family first, following the Ten Commandments, or responding to everyone we meet with love.

Those are all good things, but they’re not the most basic. Every life, story, movie, day, or lesson has a beginning. There has to be a point where it starts.

Squabbles over when life begins are usually limited to conception and birth. Certainly, those are the most common options when considering the moment genetic material combines to form a new unique individual. But before moving forward, additional definitions are required. What do we mean by life? What is meant by individual?

We can go back further.

Just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will” – Ephesians 1:4-5

Is the genetic material and course of each individual’s known by God in advance? That’s another debate. But there’s something even more basic.

In the beginning, God…” – Genesis 1:1

Unless we agree that God is the Creator of the beginning, reaching consensus about smaller truths will be difficult.  Simplicity requires a simple beginning. Clarity requires a common starting point. Faith requires something or someone to believe in.

Where else can we begin our search for simplicity? Nowhere but the beginning.