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Chilean miner sheds light on underground religious life
Chilean miner Jose Henriquez and his wife after being brought to the surface. Henriquez addressed the National Prayer Breakfast on Thursday.
February 3rd, 2011
12:15 PM ET

Chilean miner sheds light on underground religious life

By Eric Marrapodi, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

One of the rescued Chilean miners shed new light Thursday on the intense religious and spiritual experiences of many of the miners while trapped underground for 52 days last year, saying that faith was a key part of surviving t he ordeal.

"We realized we had only one alternative and that was God himself," said Jose Henriquez in an address to the National Prayer Breakfast on in Washington, speaking to a crowd that included President Barack Obama.

"We were different creeds and churches," Henriquez said, speaking in Spanish with simultaneous translation. "So I got them in a circle and made sure everyone could pray in a participatory fashion. And as we prayed we began to know the presence and blessing among us of God in the mine. We were strengthened, our spirits were revived.”

He said the first seventeen days were the hardest, having no communication with the outside world.

“We had some serious problems. We had very little food for three days only, no water," he said. “So we decided unless we prayed and God did a miracle there would be no way out. And that became our daily hope and confidence. We began to pray that he would do a miracle among us and solve our problems.”

There were tensions in the collapsed mine, including fist fights among the miners.

Henriquez did not speak about those fights but talked about how the miners resolved tensions. “This democratic community was not a secular democracy but a praying, democratic community," he said. "God began to reconcile us together and so we’d get  one with the other and forced them to shake their hand, we maintained the peace and community spirit that way.”

He said a turning point for the miners was the delivery of small Bibles through the tubes rescue workers used to provide food, medicine, supplies and entertainment. “There was one Bible for each man with his name on it," Henriquez said holding the small Bible above his head to show the crowd.

As a final act of thanksgiving Henriquez said he got the men to pray before they entered the rescue craft that would shuttle them to freedom. “Some wanted to dive in and get in the capsule but I said, 'Hold it. Were going to pray first.'”

As they emerged from the depths he said it seemed as though the whole world was watching. The miners wore tan t-shirts over their coveralls. The shirts were provided by a local branch of Campus Crusade for Christ. Henriquez said the miners felt like the t-shirts were, "the best way to express the way we were feeling was to wear these t-shirts we had made that said, Thank you Lord, thank you Jesus.”

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Belief • Bible • Chile • Christianity • South America

soundoff (166 Responses)
  1. tengo

    The word powerful is always used by "thumpers"Let say there are 2 guys guys in a field and call them #1 and 2.Number 1is shooting ,throwing bricks using dynomite,fire and everything he can think of and number 2 is still there.Number 1 just can,t get rid of number 2.Now who do think is the most powerful..Why is your Satan still here..Get your facts straight.Your god never wrote one word in your book of fairy tales..All man made .FYI god never showed up for the popes funeral so much for them being buddies..I can only dream that if relgion was gone so would all wars...

    February 5, 2011 at 9:34 am |
    • Curious

      Hi Tengo.
      I can't address the first part of your post, because I am not sure what point your trying to make?

      IF you are saying, that if God is so powerful, why is Satan still here, and that Satan is more powerful (?), then I can answer this by telling you that God is the most powerful, and has already defeated Satan at the cross! He i(Satan) knows his mission to destroy is growing short, and therefore works overtime , using all resources he has to defeat man from ever seeing what God intended for him, Heaven! He delights in using the rationale over faith, because he knows it will destroy you.It is easy to believe in things proved, but so hard to believe in things NOT seen that are proved, wouldn't you agree?

      Here is a scripture that proves what I just said

      I Have Overcome the World – John 16:33
      "I told you these things so that you can have peace in me. In this world you will have trouble. But be brave! I have defeated the world!" (ERV)

      SATAN DEFEATED!

      I have my facts straight, and would like to now take the pleasure of sharing that knpwledge wth you, so you can get your facts straight.

      I guess when you say, "God never wrote one word in your book of fairytales", ALL MAN MADE.., you miss the point that those who witnessed his words , and were guided by his HOLY SPIRIT, wrote down what he said. So, man(apostles) acting as the "conduit" or "vessels" for him, and being filled with the HOLY SPIRIT, WROTE this as record for all mankind!
      That disproves what you said, that it is ALL MANMADE and that HE (GOD) never wrote one word!

      These are not fairytales, Tengo. Fairys don't exist, God does!

      Lastly, you stated:
      .FYI god never showed up for the popes funeral so much for them being buddies..I can only dream that if relgion was gone so would all wars...

      You my be right on this partially, because God is the God of the living, and not the dead! Where the pope went after his body returned to the dust,is back to the one who BREATHED the life into him, to begin with, God is not concerned with the body, that is corrupt and subject to diseases and death, but to the living spirit that returned to him.
      Funny how people get thier eyes on the "material" body, but could care less about thier spirit, which is that part that does not die.

      You say you can only dream that if religion were gone, so would be all wars.
      Really?
      Do you not think man in his fallible state, would not find another vice in which to do his evilness?

      February 6, 2011 at 8:43 am |
    • David Johnson

      @Curious

      You said: "These are not fairytales, Tengo. Fairys don't exist, God does!"

      Can you prove fairies don't exist? I have fairies living in my left shoe.

      Cheers!

      February 6, 2011 at 11:48 am |
    • a guy from Lebanon

      @ David Johnson:

      I can prove fairies don't exist. Fairies are man-made. No one ever witnessed a fairy talking to them or ever saw a fairy in real life. On the other hand: God communicated with many people and when people saw Jesus, they were seeing God, because Jesus is God.

      Now stop drinking.

      February 6, 2011 at 3:28 pm |
  2. Curious

    None of us are exempt from the wiles of the world. There are natural disasters that in no way are Gods fault. They happen. He said this world, was not his world, but that of devil.
    The scrpiture tells us that.
    "...the whole world lies under the sway of the wicked one." 1 John 5:19
    It is amazing that I do not see anyone blaming the devil for anything that happens, but always God.
    Sometimes, the streaa that people go thru, and the horrors you spoke of, have worked to mayby strenghten the family, make them realize how much they mean to one another, and so on.. In other words, good can come out of bad things.

    "Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; who put darkness for light, and light for darkness.... Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight!" Isaiah 5:20-21

    God loves everyone. The flesh will return to dust from where it came, but the spirit/soul will live on.
    What benefit will it be to you
    if you gain the whole world
    but lose your own soul?
    (Mark 8:36)

    Our integrity, our inner value is dissolved to a greater degree, when we think we must please the world and get our value from it instead of realizing that we have it inside of us already
    Most things that happen that are not good, can be used in a positive way. Getting the focus on what can I learn from this, or how did the expierience make me stronger, for example, is what I am getting at.
    There is no doubt that those miners drew strenght from God, and worshipped and praised him in light of thier circ-u-mstances.They are still giving testimony to thier witnessing the hand of god in thier lives,

    February 4, 2011 at 8:36 pm |
    • Evolved DNA

      Then what value is god ?..a better plan would have been to let you see heaven before you were born...( come on hes the master of all and can do anything except prevent misery).that way during life you know that things will be better when you die..
      Personally the 14 billion years before i was born went by real fast.. don't remember a thing.

      February 4, 2011 at 11:56 pm |
    • Curious

      Hi Evolved DNA,
      You said
      Then what value is god ?..a better plan would have been to let you see heaven before you were born...( come on hes the master of all and can do anything except prevent misery).that way during life you know that things will be better when you die..
      Personally the 14 billion years before i was born went by real fast.. don't remember a thing.

      Think about it this way. If we did not suffer some misery in life, what would be the point? Is it not thru misery and suffering, that we become wiser, if only that it teaches us a lesson for our own good?
      Example, As a child., lets say we touch a hot pot sitting on the stove. No one was around, and we knew no better,but, ouch! It hurt. We learned that we should not touch that pot if we see it again, because we remember the pain we suffered, from our actions.
      Mayby thats not the best example, but it drives my point. suffering and misery are sometimes teachers for our own good. What we take away from the expierience, be it not a pleasant one, but one that makes us wiser.

      God did know there would be suffering in this world. and he came that we may endure and rise above it with the promise , he is with us thru these times of tribulation and grief, Psalm 23 validates this, note the words:

      1The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.

      2He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.

      3He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake.

      4Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.

      5Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.

      6Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.

      Jesus cames with a mission, to save the all of mankind, thru his death on th cross. He gave the promise of eternal life, not in this world, but in the next, HIS KINGDOM.

      He also warned us of many evils that would be in the world, and even speaks of natural calamity. He also warned us about the evil one (Satan), and how he would seek to destroy mankind

      seeJohn 10:10 (NKJV)
      10 The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.
      You can see that God said he came that we may have life, and have it more abundantly.

      Our spirits are dead, until they become cleansed by the Blood of Jesus Chriist, when we are baptised, we are buried (the old man- sins), and raised a new creature in Christ.

      To me, this is the value of God.
      I hope I have answered your question in some manner, of which you asked it.

      February 5, 2011 at 9:59 am |
    • David Johnson

      @Curious

      I asked this question earlier, but no on answered. You seem to have an answer, so I ask you:

      If god is all good, and all powerful, why is there so much suffering in the world?

      f god is the creator of all things, then he is responsible for the bad as well as the good. He made the beautiful flowers and the worm that is eating a child's eye.

      If God exists and is all good, we must have evidence that all of the evil we see are for a higher purpose.

      All the pain and suffering should have the purpose of teaching. But even fundies admit there is no evidence. That is why they must resort to talking about the mysterious ways in which God works or God's Great Plan.

      There's no evidence at all, that 300 to 500 million people dying from Smallpox in the 20th century, is for a greater good.

      Walk through a children's cancer ward some time. Come back and tell me what lessons are being learned there.

      What lesson does the parent of a baby born without a brain take away from the experience?

      What lesson is taught to a mother, who is watching her baby starve?

      Even if evil and suffering is a teaching tool, an all good God would only allow as much evil or suffering as is absolutely necessary, in order to achieve a greater purpose. Any suffering above that necessary to learn, would have no purpose.

      But when we look at the world around us, we find many instances of apparently pointless suffering from which no greater purpose seems to result.

      As William Rowe points out, "when a fawn burns to death in a forest fire and no human being ever knows about it, this apparently unnecessary evil does nothing to build the character of human beings. It is just suffering."

      If god is all good, He must desire that all suffering be taken away. If He doesn't desire this, then He is not all good.
      If god is all powerful, then he is able to take away all suffering. If He can't take away suffering, He is not all powerful.
      So, why does evil exist?

      February 6, 2011 at 11:59 am |
  3. Evolved DNA

    Curious. he did not place them in danger.. are you kidding... you missed the point.. if I knew the pavement was going to collapse and I put my children there that would be reckless, and i would also be a poor parent.. in the same way that the Pope allowed other children to be at risk with the pedophiles they knew about. According to you, god knew that the mine would collapse but allowed them to go down anyway. Can you imagine the horror of the families and the stress they had for all those days. If that is gods love and compassion, hes a sick puppy.

    February 4, 2011 at 6:10 pm |
  4. Sao

    For those of you that don't believe in God(The Creator of all), you probably drink your own breast milk when you were an infant. Just like infants depending their mother's breast milk, we all depend on someone, espcially God.

    P.S. Life is like a fleeting vapor it passes you by like money through your hands and you don't know where it went.

    February 4, 2011 at 5:36 pm |
    • Curious

      Evolved DNA

      Curious
      No, men did the rescuing and were successful. This would have been an excellent time for god to have shown he was "real" to the the entire world, but no, as usual he is shy. As a parent, if I knew that my children were in danger and an accident was imminent I would take them out of danger. Your god is all knowing of course, so putting people in danger would be a reckless act.

      Evolved DNA

      He did not place them in danger. If your children were walking down the street, and the pavement collapsed, how wold that be your fault?
      Your right, he is all knowing, but we are still subject to what happens in the world. He did protect them, they all came out, did they not? Despite the efforts of men, which were very honorable, they had to survive down there all that time. I am sure GOD is what held those men together.

      February 4, 2011 at 5:56 pm |
  5. AmericanBob

    David Johnson and Evolved DNA. You say there is no God then prove it. I believe there is one who is gracious enough to allow even you to take your next breath. Yes the miners were rescued by humans through knowledge that was bestowed on mankind through God. We all get you don't beleive and you will not change a believer and all we can try to do is plant a seed of faith in God into you.

    February 4, 2011 at 3:19 pm |
    • Smite Me

      AmericanBob,

      "...You say there is no God then prove it."

      No, it is necessary for the claimant to prove his claim.

      If I say that there is an invisible polka-dot monkey sitting on my shoulder, I must prove it. You cannot prove that it is not so.

      Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof. Yours is lacking.

      February 4, 2011 at 3:34 pm |
    • Anglican

      Smite me. Ok. You do not have to believe. Seek and find. No seek, no find. Your choice.

      February 4, 2011 at 3:48 pm |
    • NL

      Smite Me-
      Yes, exactly. You wouldn't buy any product without some proof that it works first, and any rational person would suspect that anyone trying to sell them something that is unproven, or sight unseen, is actually trying to con them, right?

      From Wiki
      "Confidence men or women exploit characteristics of the human psyche such as greed, both dishonesty and honesty, vanity, compassion, credulity, irresponsibility, naïveté, and the thought of trying to get something of value for nothing or for something far less valuable."

      I particularly find the reference to "the thought of trying to get something of value for nothing" interesting.

      Can I interest anybody in some salvation? Come on, it's FREE! 😉

      February 4, 2011 at 3:57 pm |
    • Evolved DNA

      AmericanBob. you cannot prove what is not there.. this has been mentioned to you. There is more that enough evidence to assert that evolution is a fact, this counters your bibles claim. Yes, it is true that science does not have all the answers at this time.If you believe it was god then prove it, that means testable evidence. Also, who are you to say i am not god testing you? with out any evidence would you believe me.. careful now this could also be a test... and you know what failure could bring.

      February 4, 2011 at 4:06 pm |
    • NL

      Anglican-
      You can apply the same "No seek, no find" principle to rational thought as well, and it's very clear which choice many of the believers posting here have made. The Dark Ages may have been the Golden Age of Church domination over society, but do we really want to recreate them?

      February 4, 2011 at 4:11 pm |
    • Mike, not me

      Smite-me you are half correct, the non-believer still has to wrestle to disprove the actions of the early church and a change in culture because of this belief. NL's argument of the Dark Ages does not hold water and amounts to "chronological snobbery" to think the the people of that time were not skeptical and demand proof and testimony as you do today.

      February 4, 2011 at 4:18 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @AmericanBob

      You said: " Yes the miners were rescued by humans through knowledge that was bestowed on mankind through God."

      If human knowledge is bestowed by god, what takes Him so long? Why didn't God give man the cure for Small Pox and Polio, when the diseases first manifested themselves? Why doesn't god give man the cure for cancer and HIV?

      You give credit to god, for the accomplishments of man.

      Cheers!

      February 4, 2011 at 8:02 pm |
    • NL

      Mike, not me-
      Hmm... Skeptics during the Dark Ages. Weren't they called heretics and witches? They were real popular, as I recall. Invited to all the big weenie roasts as the guests of honor! 😉

      February 4, 2011 at 10:57 pm |
    • Curious

      Hi AmericanBob,
      I think this is the scripture you speak of:

      "Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God. Those by the wayside are the ones who hear; then the devil comes and takes away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved. But the ones on the rock are those who, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, who believe for a while and in time of temptation fall away. Now the ones that fell among thorns are those who, when they have heard, go out and are choked with cares, riches, and pleasures of life, and bring no fruit to maturity. But the ones that fell on the good ground are those who, having heard the word with a noble and good heart, keep it and bear fruit with patience." Luke 8:11-15

      February 4, 2011 at 11:06 pm |
    • Anglican

      NL You do not have to believe if you do not want to. It is your choice. Peace.

      February 5, 2011 at 10:00 am |
    • NL

      Anglican-
      I wish to live in peace with believers as well, but they are guided by their supersti tions, and their irrational fear of offending God affects us all.

      February 5, 2011 at 10:48 am |
  6. Matt

    Interesting, they created a Unitarian Universalist church after they realized they were all from different creeds. 🙂

    February 4, 2011 at 2:48 pm |
  7. David Johnson

    Silly non-thinking sheep! There was no miracle involved in the miners rescue. Technology! Designed and built by man! If this had happened even a decade ago, these men would more than likely have perished.

    Prayer does not work. It should be resorted to in times of dire need, as a last ditch effort to control events.
    And, the trapped miners did indeed resort to prayer. No mystery there. Certainly no proof that there is a god.

    During the same 24 hour time period (any given 24 hour period), the following to happened:

    According to UNICEF, 22,000 children died due to poverty. And they “died quietly in some of the poorest villages on earth, far removed from the scrutiny and the conscience of the world. Where was their miracle?

    Almost 5,500 people died due to AIDS. Where was their miracle?

    1500 people lives were taken by cancer. Where was their miracle?

    About 2600 people died of cardiovascular disease. Where was their miracle?

    These people died, while the 33 miners received a miracle?

    Thousands have died in disasters. Where was their miracle?

    Remember, that while something happens good in our lives, something bad is happening elsewhere. God isn't involved.

    There are survivors of many horrific disasters. There were survivors of the atomic bomb drop on Hiroshima. It is a matter of random chance.

    The bomb went off. Maggie was in the basement getting a jar of pickles. She lives. No miracle, just chance. If the bomb went off 10 minutes later, Maggie would have been watering her garden outside...

    A tornado races through a trailer park, destroying everything in its path.

    One man and his trailer are untouched. It is a miracle!

    No it isn't. It's random chance. Rewind everything and send the tornado back through the park. This time the fellow and his trailer will be toast. Someone else may well survive.

    Miracles consist of coincidence and random chance. No god required.

    Cheers!

    February 4, 2011 at 1:09 pm |
    • Anglican

      Dave. I live. I am a miracle.
      Peace.

      February 4, 2011 at 3:07 pm |
  8. Curious

    Reality,
    Reality

    The Apostles' Creed 2011: (updated based on the studies of historians and theologians of the past 200 years)

    I might believe in a god whose existence cannot be proven
    and said god if he/she/it exists resides in an unproven,
    human-created, spirit state of bliss called heaven.

    I believe there was a 1st century CE, Jewish, simple,
    preacher-man who was conceived by a Jewish carpenter
    named Joseph living in Nazareth and born of a young Jewish
    girl named Mary. (Some say he was a mamzer)

    Jesus was summarily crucified for being a temple rabble-rouser by
    the Roman troops in Jerusalem serving under Pontius Pilate,

    He was buried in an unmarked grave and still lies
    a-mouldering in the ground somewhere outside of
    Jerusalem.

    Said Jesus' story was embellished and "mythicized" by
    many semi-fiction writers. A bodily resurrection and
    ascension stories were promulgated to compete with the
    Caesar myths. Said stories were so popular that they
    grew into a religion known today as Catholicism/Christianity
    and featuring dark-age, daily wine to blood and bread to body rituals
    called the eucharistic sacrifice of the non-atoning Jesus.

    Amen

    Reality, Apparently these historians and theologians of the past 200 years, did not do a thorough enough study. Otherwise, they would know that they were wrong on several fronts that you have listed.

    Mayby you could take a look here, there is evidence for skeptics..
    http://www.y-jesus.com/

    February 4, 2011 at 9:20 am |
    • Reality

      Curious,

      For your perusal, a sampling of the references used by contemporary historic Jesus scholars.

      o 1. Historical Jesus Theories, earlychristianwritings.com/theories.htm – the names of many of the contemporary historical Jesus scholars and the ti-tles of their over 100 books on the subject.
      2. Early Christian Writings, earlychristianwritings.com/
      – a list of early Christian doc-uments to include the year of publication–
      30-60 CE Passion Narrative
      40-80 Lost Sayings Gospel Q
      50-60 1 Thessalonians
      50-60 Philippians
      50-60 Galatians
      50-60 1 Corinthians
      50-60 2 Corinthians
      50-60 Romans
      50-60 Philemon
      50-80 Colossians
      50-90 Signs Gospel
      50-95 Book of Hebrews
      50-120 Didache
      50-140 Gospel of Thomas
      50-140 Oxyrhynchus 1224 Gospel
      50-200 Sophia of Jesus Christ
      65-80 Gospel of Mark
      70-100 Epistle of James
      70-120 Egerton Gospel
      70-160 Gospel of Peter
      70-160 Secret Mark
      70-200 Fayyum Fragment
      70-200 Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs
      73-200 Mara Bar Serapion
      80-100 2 Thessalonians
      80-100 Ephesians
      80-100 Gospel of Matthew
      80-110 1 Peter
      80-120 Epistle of Barnabas
      80-130 Gospel of Luke
      80-130 Acts of the Apostles
      80-140 1 Clement
      80-150 Gospel of the Egyptians
      80-150 Gospel of the Hebrews
      80-250 Christian Sibyllines
      90-95 Apocalypse of John
      90-120 Gospel of John
      90-120 1 John
      90-120 2 John
      90-120 3 John
      90-120 Epistle of Jude
      93 Flavius Josephus
      100-150 1 Timothy
      100-150 2 Timothy
      100-150 T-itus
      100-150 Apocalypse of Peter
      100-150 Secret Book of James
      100-150 Preaching of Peter
      100-160 Gospel of the Ebionites
      100-160 Gospel of the Nazoreans
      100-160 Shepherd of Hermas
      100-160 2 Peter

      3. Historical Jesus Studies, faithfutures.org/HJstudies.html,
      – "an extensive and constantly expanding literature on historical research into the person and cultural context of Jesus of Nazareth"
      4. Jesus Database, faithfutures.org/JDB/intro.html–"The JESUS DATABASE is an online annotated inventory of the traditions concerning the life and teachings of Jesus that have survived from the first three centuries of the Common Era. It includes both canonical and extra-canonical materials, and is not limited to the traditions found within the Christian New Testament."
      5. Josephus on Jesus mtio.com/articles/bissar24.htm
      6. The Jesus Seminar, mystae.com/restricted/reflections/messiah/seminar.html#Criteria
      7. Writing the New Testament- mystae.com/restricted/reflections/messiah/testament.html
      8. Health and Healing in the Land of Israel By Joe Zias
      joezias.com/HealthHealingLandIsrael.htm
      9. Economics in First Century Palestine, K.C. Hanson and D. E. Oakman, Palestine in the Time of Jesus, Fortress Press, 1998.
      10. 7. The Gnostic Jesus
      (Part One in a Two-Part Series on Ancient and Modern Gnosticism)
      by Douglas Groothuis: equip.org/free/DG040-1.htm
      11. The interpretation of the Bible in the Church, Pontifical Biblical Commission
      Presented on March 18, 1994
      ewtn.com/library/CURIA/PBCINTER.HTM#2
      12. The Jesus Database- newer site:
      wiki.faithfutures.org/index.php?t-itle=Jesus_Database
      13. Jesus Database with the example of Supper and Eucharist:
      faithfutures.org/JDB/jdb016.html
      14. Josephus on Jesus by Paul Maier:
      mtio.com/articles/bissar24.htm
      15. The Journal of Higher Criticism with links to articles on the Historical Jesus:
      mtio.com/articles/bissar24.htm
      16. The Greek New Testament: laparola.net/greco/
      17. Diseases in the Bible:
      etd.unisa.ac.za/ETD-db/theses/available/etd-08022006-125807/unrestricted/02dissertation.pdf
      18. Religion on Line (6000 articles on the history of religion, churches, theologies,
      theologians, ethics, etc.
      religion-online.org/
      19. The Jesus Seminarians and their search for NT authenticity:
      mystae.com/restricted/reflections/messiah/seminar.html#Criteria
      20. The New Testament Gateway – Internet NT ntgateway.com/
      21. Writing the New Testament- existing copies, oral tradition etc.
      ntgateway.com/
      22. The Search for the Historic Jesus by the Jesus Seminarians:
      members.aol.com/DrSwiney/seminar.html
      23. Jesus Decoded by Msgr. Francis J. Maniscalco (Da Vinci Code review)jesusdecoded.com/introduction.php
      24. JD Crossan's scriptural references for his book the Historical Jesus separated into time periods: faithfutures.org/Jesus/Crossan1.rtf
      25. JD Crossan's conclusions about the authencity of most of the NT based on the above plus the conclusions of other NT exegetes in the last 200 years:
      faithfutures.org/Jesus/Crossan2.rtf
      26. Common Sayings from Thomas's Gospel and the Q Gospel: faithfutures.org/Jesus/Crossan3.rtf
      27. Early Jewish Writings- Josephus and his books by t-itle with the complete translated work in English :earlyjewishwritings.com/josephus.html
      28. Luke and Josephus- was there a connection?
      infidels.org/library/modern/richard_carrier/lukeandjosephus.html
      29. NT and beyond time line:
      pbs.org/empires/peterandpaul/history/timeline/
      30. St. Paul's Time line with discussion of important events:
      harvardhouse.com/prophetictech/new/pauls_life.htm
      31. See amazon.com for a list of JD Crossan's books and those of the other Jesus Seminarians: Reviews of said books are included and selected pages can now be viewed on Amazon. Some books can be found on-line at Google Books.
      32. Father Edward Schillebeeckx's words of wisdom as found in his books.
      33. The books of the following : Professors Marcus Borg, Paula Fredriksen, Elaine Pagels, Karen Armstrong and Bishop NT Wright.
      34. Father Raymond Brown's An Introduction to the New Testament, Doubleday, NY, 1977, 878 pages, with Nihil obstat and Imprimatur.
      35. Luke Timothy Johnson's book The Real Jesus

      February 4, 2011 at 12:14 pm |
  9. Curious

    Evolved DNA

    Its fantastic they survived of course, but if only god had stopped the cave in to start with he could have stopped lot of anguish.. poor old god always late to the party!

    Evolved, We are subject to the ills of the world. Thats like saying, if your child fell and scr-a-ped his knee's on something he tripped over, you. his Dad, could have prevented it by holding him up as he walked, thus preventing his tripping. Or, that you could have removed the thing that tripped him.
    He did say when he left the world, he would send the Holy Spirit to comfort and guide us. That indicates to me, in his absence, we would be subject to things of the world, which we would need to be comforted and guided.

    February 4, 2011 at 8:38 am |
    • Curious

      Evolved DNA

      Catholic mom ..these men were saved because of the skill of men.. if he had wanted to" god" could have brought these guys out ..had they just materialized then that would have been miraculous. But no, they did not.. sorry no miracle just humanity coming to the rescue. You better hope god gets rid of the ol devil soon, hes giving him a bad name.
      Evolved DNA
      If I may comment, I would say that God did bring them out. However, like a parent knows what is good for his child, so God knows what is good for us. Perhaps the expieriences these men had, while waiting to be rescued, where needed to strengthen some things within them, and mayby thats why he allowed them to go thru it.
      We are told not to worry about the flesh that can be destroyed, but to worry about our souls. that they may one day be refined and dwell in Heaven.

      February 4, 2011 at 9:06 am |
    • lgkp

      If you read my above post, it will give you a Christian understanding of why life's not always perfect.

      February 4, 2011 at 9:28 am |
    • lgkp

      Fyi, I meant my previous comment for Evolved DNA...

      February 4, 2011 at 9:47 am |
    • Evolved DNA

      Curious
      No, men did the rescuing and were successful. This would have been an excellent time for god to have shown he was "real" to the the entire world, but no, as usual he is shy. As a parent, if I knew that my children were in danger and an accident was imminent I would take them out of danger. Your god is all knowing of course, so putting people in danger would be a reckless act.

      February 4, 2011 at 10:33 am |
    • CatholicMom

      Curious,
      The Holy Spirit does work through us….what an excellent point! The rescue workers displayed enormous love of neighbor and were not faint hearted in the least!

      February 5, 2011 at 9:45 am |
  10. Curious

    This should read It comes from God, not "It comes from",

    February 4, 2011 at 8:30 am |
  11. Noe

    Jose (picutred above) has recently been in the UK, sharing his story. He has been asked several times directly about why God would save his group and not others, such as the Columbian or Durham miners. I suggest listening to his thoughtful response. Also, he is quick to give thanks to the people who helped in the rescue–he doesn't discount their role in the rescue at all whilst at the same time giving unabashed thanks to God.

    February 4, 2011 at 7:41 am |
    • Curious

      Luke

      God tried his hardest to kill these men. It is only through the skill, perseverance, and love of fellow human beings that they were saved.

      Luke, If God had tried his haredst to killl these men, they would be dead. Besides, Gods commandments say.Thou Shalt Not Kill. He would be going against his own commandment.

      You also say,
      It is only through the skill, perseverance, and love of fellow human beings that they were saved.

      Where do you think the "love" of fellow human beings, comes from? It comes from, because God is Love. God works thru people to help others,
      So, the end result is the same

      February 4, 2011 at 8:28 am |
    • civiloutside

      "Gods commandments say.Thou Shalt Not Kill. He would be going against his own commandment."

      If you think the Christian god has any issues at all with the idea of killing people in spite of this commandment, you clearly haven't read your Bible.

      February 4, 2011 at 11:38 am |
  12. All honor and praise be to God

    Praise God! Praise Jesus! All glory and honor to our Lord and savior Jesus Christ who sits at the right hand of the Father.

    February 4, 2011 at 7:38 am |
    • Reality

      The Apostles' Creed 2011: (updated based on the studies of historians and theologians of the past 200 years)

      I might believe in a god whose existence cannot be proven
      and said god if he/she/it exists resides in an unproven,
      human-created, spirit state of bliss called heaven.

      I believe there was a 1st century CE, Jewish, simple,
      preacher-man who was conceived by a Jewish carpenter
      named Joseph living in Nazareth and born of a young Jewish
      girl named Mary. (Some say he was a mamzer)

      Jesus was summarily crucified for being a temple rabble-rouser by
      the Roman troops in Jerusalem serving under Pontius Pilate,

      He was buried in an unmarked grave and still lies
      a-mouldering in the ground somewhere outside of
      Jerusalem.

      Said Jesus' story was embellished and "mythicized" by
      many semi-fiction writers. A bodily resurrection and
      ascension stories were promulgated to compete with the
      Caesar myths. Said stories were so popular that they
      grew into a religion known today as Catholicism/Christianity
      and featuring dark-age, daily wine to blood and bread to body rituals
      called the eucharistic sacrifice of the non-atoning Jesus.

      Amen

      February 4, 2011 at 8:21 am |
  13. tom

    An atheist- one who spends all his time ranting online about a God he "does not believe in".

    No silly Scripture twisting arguments or copy-and-pasting from atheist forums change the fact that God exists. Jesus Christ is LORD and one day all knees will bow and tongues will confess it.

    February 4, 2011 at 7:07 am |
  14. lgkp

    Which is made evident in this news article.

    February 4, 2011 at 1:34 am |
  15. lgkp

    For anyone who tries to disprove God by saying that misfortunes happen to other people: God sent JESUS CHRIST to carry the cross and be crucified. THAT wasn't a misfortune? Jesus said to pick up your cross and follow Him. Misfortunes throughout the world are everyone's crosses. God didn't put everyone in this world to be happy all the time. Through suffering, our faith can be strengthened so that in the end we can know true joy. God also gives those who aren't suffering the chance to help those who are (another way to grow in faith). If you think Christians are just a bunch of arrogant crazy people who think they are so special they deserve life more than everyone else, look at the martyrs who willing had their skin peeled off and still refused to give up their faith. God is real, and the "what about suffering?" argument fails! People often come closer to God in crises!

    February 4, 2011 at 1:32 am |
    • CatholicMom

      lgkp,

      Yes, we should pick up our cross and follow Jesus Christ. Our happiness is in following Him….If we get off the Way, we become unhappy.

      Jesus said His yoke is easy…no one should fear pain or sufferings of any sort because through it we can place our sufferings with Jesus on the Cross and He can take it all and turn it into good for all of humanity [Yes, we can love our neighbor in our pain!].

      The greatest suffering ever done was Jesus Christ’s dying on the Cross…a painful, humiliating, lonely death…to Him who is Perfection…so that all might have life-everlasting…the greatest good came from His pain, death, and resurrection. Without His sufferings the gates of Heaven would still be closed to us due to Adam and Eve’s fall.

      If we are to follow Jesus Christ….we can expect suffering in our lives and it is how we accept it that makes the difference in our Faith. It can come in all sorts of ways…disappointment….anguish….mourning…..physical sufferings, etc…. When I see someone in a wheelchair, or someone struggling to walk with a cane, or see a child crying….my heart goes out to them…and I pray for peace for them….peace in their pain that can only come from Jesus Christ.

      February 4, 2011 at 10:13 am |
    • civiloutside

      CM Said "if we get off the Way, we become unhappy."

      I was never more miserable in my life than when I still believed. Now I'm very happy.

      "the greatest suffering ever done was Jesus Christ's dying on the cross."

      I'm certain he suffered quite a bit. A pretty horrific easy to die, really. But most everyone else who died on a cross suffered more. See, JC got six hours up there before he died. This surprised a lot of people, because crucifixion was designed to take days to kill you. Many victims survived three days or more. Some particularly tough folks lasted as long as nine.

      February 4, 2011 at 11:31 am |
    • civiloutside

      Stupid auto-correct feature. Above should have read "pretty horrific way to die..." The word "easy" should not have been there.

      February 4, 2011 at 11:34 am |
  16. Evolved DNA

    Justina
    What exactly is humanity's sin? This is just a word used to cover the rather embarrassing fact that "god" allows things to happen that should not if he /she / it were real.

    February 4, 2011 at 1:19 am |
    • Justina

      EvolvedDNA, God's pronoun is forever "He," though He is Spirit. Humanity's sin is pretending there is no God though the evidence is plenty that He is. Mankind also pretends everything belongs to them thought the real Owner is God – and look what we have done to the planet. He spoke to us to be pure but we rebelled and chose our own ways and do wrong. He doesn't stop what we do with our free-will until our time is over in this world. God provided the way to be saved from the result of our own evil conducts by sending His Son into this planet. He also helps us live a new life doing what is right through Jesus.

      February 4, 2011 at 1:33 am |
    • Know What

      Justina,

      It sounds like you have been terribly hurt by reality. I hope that you find peace soon... and that you don't damage too many people along the way.

      February 4, 2011 at 2:02 am |
    • Evolved DNA

      Justina. I am sad that you cannot find any happiness in existence, and that the only peace will come after life. I bet you are catholic, as sin is central to their myths. If god is real, as you claim, you have to prove it. if god wants us to believe he exists by having religious leaders run about in fancy frocks, golden hats, golden rings, drinking from golden cups.. I'm afraid that wont work. Sin is also a construct of the human mind and is nothing more that a rejection of another persons understanding of life.

      February 4, 2011 at 10:00 am |
  17. Justina

    NL, don't forget that humanity's evil nature that we don't admit truth unless we are forced to. You admit your own fault only when you are caught or because you will get caught. And the causation of all ills – sicknesses, disasters and accidents – is humanity's sin and rebellion.

    February 4, 2011 at 1:08 am |
    • NL

      See my post concerning the myth of Pandora above.

      February 4, 2011 at 10:32 am |
  18. naturechaplain

    When I was a chaplain, assisting people of many faiths and no faiths for a very long time, it was pretty obvious: when people are in crisis it is the support and encouragement of other human beings that makes all the difference. I have nothing against prayer, per se, if it doesn't hinder the actual cooperative work that gets things done when real people are in real need. I would heartily agree with the other writer who points out all the other miners who have died in recent days. No doubt, in these tragedies, the prayers to whatever deity could not overcome the injustice and cruel thoughtlessness of the companies and corporations who send people into danger (or all of us who demand the minerals they risk their lives to dig). By the way, the t-shirts they received would more appropriately say Thanks to all the dedicated workers who got them out.

    February 4, 2011 at 1:00 am |
    • Justina

      Another Hindu Westerner. Naturec-, It really matters to know what is Truth and who the real God is. Everyone is sinner and faces crisis in life; everyone needs true God who is in control and also His salvation.

      February 4, 2011 at 1:38 am |
  19. NL

    Think of all the American miners that have died underground over the centuries. Don't you think that they summoned their courage, prayed, and had as much faith as these miners did? Did God just not like all of them as much?

    The only miracle here is that technology has improved enough to actually rescue people trapped underground, and that the media were there to ensure that the company didn't just give up because it's more economically feasible. Media coverage also give free advertising to these new technologies, making it feasible for them to donate their services to this cause. Let's just hope that future cave-ins can benefit from all of this, and that more miners are as lucky?

    February 4, 2011 at 12:02 am |
    • Justina

      NL, America is immoral as a nation. You need nation-wide repentance.

      February 4, 2011 at 1:40 am |
    • NL

      Justina-
      "You" need nation-wide repentance?
      Where do you live Justina, and who are you to pass judgment upon any nation?

      February 4, 2011 at 10:23 am |
  20. Evolved DNA

    Its fantastic they survived of course, but if only god had stopped the cave in to start with he could have stopped lot of anguish.. poor old god always late to the party!

    February 3, 2011 at 11:42 pm |
    • Justina

      EvolvedDNA, stop your blasphemies. Because of people like you, the whole world is becoming wanting to destroy America and have a party over your death. I used to like America a lot, but Americans like you are really disgusting.

      February 4, 2011 at 1:43 am |
    • Evolved DNA

      Justina.. The sooner we start believing in ourselves, that as human beings. the better off we will be. Not sure what part of the world you are in, but I am not American. Prove to us that god is real, but you cannot.

      February 4, 2011 at 9:52 am |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.