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Non-Christian proverb.

I hold TNA to a higher standard of editorial and writing excellence than I do other magazines, and I was surprised that "God helps those who help themselves" was incorporated into a Christian context in the article "Miracle at Sea," April 5 issue. Front his article, Tom Eddlem affirmed the Christian faith that the men discovered while they were adrift in the ocean. The last paragraph he wrote equated a non-Christian proverb, "God helps those who help themselves," with their Christian faith.

An understanding of where the proverb came from is necessary to understand what it really is promoting. Aesop wrote "Hercules and the Wagoner" to demonstrate that the gods wait on US to do something FIRST before they help us. It is the "God as a slot machine" theology. Do the right thing (according to the gods) and you will be helped. Do the wrong thing and you won't be helped. The fable promotes a concept that is not taught in the Christian Bible. I look forward to a correction in the next TNA issue.


Plano, Texas

We were unaware of the genesis of the phrase ("The gods help them that help themselves" in its original form) and appreciate being informed. The colloquialism was intended in the context that Rickenbacker and his companions stranded at sea would surely have perished except for two important factors: They did everything humanly possible to help themselves; and God (they firmly believed) performed the miracle by doing what they could not do for themselves.--Ed.
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Title Annotation:Letters To The Editor
Author:Brown, Melinda M.
Publication:The New American
Article Type:Letter to the Editor
Date:May 17, 2004
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