Christians of Britain, draw near to the living God. That is the message from Jose Henriquez, the evangelical Christian Chilean miner who has been telling his extraordinary story to The Christian Institute.
Watch the final part of the interview
Talking to Mike Judge, Head of Communications at The Christian Institute, Revd Cooper responded to a question about sceptics who doubted God’s hand in the rescue.
Revd Cooper said that “unbelieving scientists and geologists involved” agreed with believers who said: “‘This is a miracle'”.
He recounted how the man in charge of all the engineering had to admit amidst “the way that all these things worked out”, something “strange was happening”.
“And in that way, very generously, he was saying ‘this was beyond my understanding'”, Revd Cooper said.
The chaplain also addressed a point raised by cynics who have remarked: ‘if you’re saying that God rescued these miners, you also have to accept that God put the miners down there’.
Revd Cooper challenged those who said such things, saying they had a “strange attitude”. He spoke of this world as a “world of suffering” where problems occur.
And the Chilean miners were the victims of such problems, he said.
But, Revd Cooper continued, despite this, the miners are saying: “Christ heard our prayers and delivered us from the pain and the suffering”.
“God is not a slot machine”, Revd Cooper commented, but he does “call us into a relationship with him”.
“So, in the midst of the suffering, and the difficulty and the pain and the horror, very often created by man, but sometimes the result of a fallen world”, somehow, through that, “God himself manifests himself as well”.
He continued: “We do know that the God these miners are testifying to is a God of love, who answers prayer”.
Turning to Mr Henriquez, Mike Judge asked him what he wanted to say to the Christians of Britain.
Mr Henriquez responded: “The living God exists. He is a real God”, and he commented: “God hears prayer and responds to prayer”.
The miner encouraged Christians in Britain to “draw near to God”.
In October last year, as the world was watching the miners’ rescue, Revd Cooper gave a remarkably candid interview to the BBC about the events in Chile.
Speaking about the spiritual impact on the miners trapped deep underground Revd Cooper described how the miners testified that Jesus was there with them at all times.
Speaking to BBC Radio Five Live Revd Cooper said that it was clear to “scientists, politicians, presidents” that God answers prayer.
Listen to Revd Cooper on BBC Radio Five Live Drive, with interviewer Peter Allen
Watch all three parts of the interview with Jose Henriquez