J. Ayodeji Adewuya is a professor of New Testament at the Pentecostal Theological Seminary in Tennessee. He saw his share of miracles in his home country, Nigeria — including, he believes, the raising of his stillborn infant son after he spent 20 minutes shouting and pacing the room in prayer. “I joke, you don’t really need to pray the Lord’s Prayer, ‘Give us our daily bread,’ when you have everything provided by Walmart and your fridge is full,” he told me. “When you’re in a place where you have nothing, the only thing you can do is depend on God, and at that point you’re expecting something. The average white evangelical Christian doesn’t expect anything.”
Western skeptics have disregarded witness testimony from places like Nigeria at least since David Hume complained in his 1748 essay on miracles that “they are observed chiefly to abound among ignorant and barbarous nations.” Such dismissal is more awkward for 21st-century secular liberals, who often say that Westerners should listen to people in the Global South and acknowledge the blindnesses of colonialism. “Some people claim that the best thing to do is to listen to people’s experiences and learn from them,” Dr. Chinedozi said. “Yet these people will be the first to find a way to disprove experiences in other cultures and contexts.”
He’s not wrong.