AA & Big Book Related

The Quandary of Faith

I'm not one who talks much about "faith" because the word comes from a Greek root that can be defined either as "faith" or "belief." And I prefer the position that A.A.'s Dr. Bob took and required of all the early AAs he helped. It really came from the Book of Hebrews:

    Heb 11:6 (KJV): But without faith, it is impossible to please him; for he that cometh to God must believe that he is and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

Dr. Bob's Bible -The "Good Book" in A.A.

The "Good Book" Is the Bible

As I have reported before-and will show again below-Alcoholics Anonymous cofounder Dr. Bob is often seen referring to the Bible as "the Good Book" in A.A. General Service Conference-approved literature. A well-known Christian couple who condemn A.A. have questioned whether Dr. Bob was a Christian because he called the Bible "the Good Book" rather than "the very Word of God"; which, they claim, "is what a true Christian would do." [See: Martin and Deidre Bobgan, "Dr. Bob Smith: A Christian 'Root' of AA?" in PsychoHeresy Awareness Letter (PAL), Jan-Feb '03 - V11N1, http://www.psychoheresy-aware.org/bobs11_1.html; accessed 5/21/10.]

A.A. 12-Step Christian Parallels: Steps 10-12

Step Ten through Step Twelve

We have many times documented the frequent statements by A.A. cofounder Bill Wilson that his friend Rev. Sam Shoemaker was the major source of the Big Book ideas and Twelve Steps.1

And you can find almost exact parallels between the language Bill Wilson used in the Big Book and the language Shoemaker wrote in his many Christian books, articles, and pamphlets. Sometimes Bill's parallel language is found in the instructions of the Big Book for "taking" the Steps. Sometimes his language is found in the Steps themselves.

A.A. 12-Step Christian Parallels: Steps 7-9

Steps Seven through Step Nine

We have many times documented the frequent statements by A.A. co-founder Bill Wilson that his friend Rev. Sam Shoemaker was the major source of the Big Book ideas and Twelve Steps.1 In 1955, Newsweek named Shoemaker one of the ten greatest preachers in the United States.2 Shoemaker was known as a great communicator, and was described by his associate Rev. W. Irving Harris as a "Bible Christian."3

A.A. 12-Step Christian Parallels: Steps 1-6

A.A. 12-Step Christian Parallels from Rev. Samuel M. Shoemaker, Jr.

Steps One through Step Six

We have many times documented the frequent statements by A.A. co-founder Bill Wilson that his friend, Rev. Sam Shoemaker, was the major source of the Big Book ideas and Twelve Steps.1 In 1955, Newsweek named him one of the ten greatest preachers in the United States.2 Shoemaker was known as a great communicator, and was described by his associate, Rev. W. Irving Harris, as a Bible Christian.3

There are many persuasive instances where one can find almost exact parallels between the language Bill Wilson used in the Big Book and the language Shoemaker used in his many Christian books, articles, and pamphlets.

Higher Power

Some of us spend [or waste] a lot of time asking the question: “What is a Higher Power?” Still others provide nonsense definitions and characteristics of “their” “higher power.” Bill Wilson vacillated between “God” and the unusual “Higher Power” he talked about so frequently after Dr. Bob was dead. Compare these inconsistent and conflicting statements by Bill:

    You can, if you wish, make A.A. itself your ‘higher power. 1

    Refusing to place God first, we had deprived ourselves of His help. But now the words “Of myself I am nothing, the Father doeth the works” began to carry bright promise and meaning.”2

    The second statement was first propounded by Dr. Bob in his last major talk in 1948. He said:

A.A. - Christian Recovery Program Observations

Different Strokes for Different Folks

“Christian Recovery” probably means very different things to various fellowships, groups, organizations, and individuals. And recognizing diversity is the first step toward tolerance and effectiveness.

Seven-Point Summary of Original Akron A.A. “Christian Fellowship” Program

The essence of the A.A. program was, and still is, helping the alcoholic who still suffers by carrying to him a message of what God has done, and can do, for him—if he wants that help and diligently seeks God. The lesson is that the first three AAs soon wanted to develop a program for others coming after them. Others who would, like they, be or become Christians, and diligently seek God’s help. To carry a proper message, and effectuate miraculous recoveries like their own, the first AAs developed some very definite practices that were used by the early Akron A.A. “Christian fellowship.”

The Seven Basic Christian Roots of Early A.A.

A.A. cofounders William Griffith Wilson (“Bill W.”) and Robert Holbrook Smith, M.D. (“Dr. Bob”) both were born and raised in Vermont, had a Congregational Christian upbringing, were much involved in Bible study, knew of conversions, attended church at least once a week, and attended chapel every school day as required at the Academies in which they were “scholars” (i.e., students). Each was steeped in the seven basic Christian roots of early A.A.

Christian A.A. Days and the Unchanging God

A.A. Founders' Descriptions of God Before the 1939 Compromise

As Alcoholics Anonymous Cofounder Bill Wilson described it, a battle took place over the wording of Bill's proposed Twelve Steps. It occurred as the Big Book manuscript was being readied for the printer. Four people were present: Bill Wilson, Bill's partner Henry Parkhurst, John Henry Fitzhugh Mayo, and the secretary Ruth Hock.

Cofounder Bill and the other Cofounder Dr. Bob Smith had consistently and many many times described Almighty God in terms that plainly came from the Bible, the Bible that both men had studied as youngsters in Vermont, and the Bible that was taught to them in their Sunday schools, daily chapel, and the Vermont Congregational Churches of their youth.

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