The Christian narrative starts with God, who is eternal, creating the universe. God creates people in his image, with particular purpose, moral codes, and values. Which accounts not only for our normal intuitions, but also explains other religions. Romans 1 says that God gave created things to humanity to be good gifts, and we turned them into gods.
“Actually, we believe that Christianity started at the creation of the world.”
I was going back and forth with one of my friends who was giving his account of why he didn’t believe in any religion. He spoke generally about the age of religions. About how Islam was predated by Christianity which was predated by Hinduism which was predated by various forms of paganism.
This is where I felt that I needed to interrupt him. India is a context where there are many coexisting religions. So there is power in a narrative that not only lays out your beliefs, but the reasons for the beliefs of those who don’t believe like you. And for that, you don’t just need moral systems, you need a cosmology.
Cosmology is just the story of how the world came to be. This matters because it frames all of our other discussions. And because culture is so pervasive, even in our own thoughts, we can assume the secular story without even realizing it. To say that Christianity begins in Genesis 1 is to derail the secular cosmology. It is to respectfully say, “you believe certain things about the nature of the universe that I do not believe, and both of us cannot be correct.”
The secular cosmological narrative goes something like this. There was the Big Bang, which started the universe. As the gas and pieces of rock cooled, they formed into galaxies, solar systems, and planets.