A very difficult theological point for an atheist or an adherent of scientific materialism to deal with is the notion of a God who is the cause of all other things. If one embraces the point of view of materialism, all things must have a cause and that cause must be based in the empirical order.
The belief of Theists is that God is not just one in an endless chain of cause and effects, but is the original cause of all things. This isn’t good logic for the person who accepts scientific materialism. If everything has a cause/creator, why wouldn’t the created also have a beginning. Theism’s assumption (what it accepts on faith) is that cause and effect only becomes a force with the beginning of time and space. So cause and effect has a relationship to God, but God is not part of that chain reaction. God exists ‘outside’ of time and space or ‘before’ time and space, and so God’s existence is not dependent on cause and effect. That is what makes God God, by definition.
Scientific materialism can only know the created order which comes into existence when time and space emerge from the Big Bang. Theism allows for this other dimension, namely God, who is not limited by or to time and space but rather is the cause of the existence of the empirically knowable universe.
St. Cyril of Jerusalem (d. 386AD) lays down what is a non-negotiable axiom of theism. This is our faith which we believe is consistent with our experience of the empirical universe.
“Let the truth of God sink into your soul to be its foundation stone. God is One, without beginning and without change. There was no one before him who caused him to be, and he will not have anyone after him. He has not had a beginning and he will not ever have an end. He is good and just. God is One and he has created souls and bodies, heaven and earth. He is the maker of everything, yet the Father of an only Son before time began: our Lord Jesus Christ through whom he has made all things visible and invisible. God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ is not restricted to any one place: not even the heavens can contain him. On the contrary, the heavens are the work of his fingers and it is he who holds the universe in his hands.” (Drinking from the Hidden Fountain, pg. 386)
We assume this to be true. We believe this to be true. We know this truth to be consistent with our experience of reality.