Saturday, March 30, 2013

Which Bible Should We Choose for our A.A. Bible Study/Big Book Group

Dick B. discusses Good Book-Big Book meetings and which Bible version to use on the March 30, 2013, episode of the "Christian Recovery Radio with Dick B.” show.


Dick B.

© 2013 Anonymous. All rights reserved


You May Hear This Talk Right Now


You may hear Dick B. discuss Good Book-Big Book meetings and which Bible version to use on the March 30, 2013, episode of the "Christian Recovery Radio with Dick B." show here:


or here:


Episodes of the "Christian Recovery Radio with Dick B." show are archived at:




Introduction by Host Ken B.


Recently, we (Dick B. and Ken B.) published and disseminated widely a newsletter primarily for those many folks who have been phoning, emailing, and telling us at meetings that they want to start an A.A. Step Study/Big Book and Bible study group as an A.A. Directory-listed meeting or as a Christian Recovery meeting.


Inevitably, they ask how they should go about the process. And we have published and/or otherwise sent out a good many guides, lists of suggested study topics, and lists of suggested procedures for setting up the meeting they wish to conduct. We particularly focused on such meetings in our new title: Stick with the Winners!: How to Conduct More Effective 12-Step Meetings Using Conference-Approved Literature (


More often than not, the meetings folks ask us about conducting will cover study of the Big Book and 12 Steps in conjunction with study of the Bible. This is because A.A. cofounder Dr. Bob made it so clear in his last major talk to AAs how important the Bible was in formulating the basic ideas for the 12 Steps. He spoke of the effort, study, and teaching that were involved. And our most popular title, The Good Book and the Big Book: A.A.'s Roots in the Bible ( has been a frequent starting point.


This evening, Dick B. will summarize an article he just wrote on this subject area, and which he also posted on line and sent to many by email. The importance of the subject is underlined in Dr. Bob's remarks in the A.A. General Service Conference-approved pamphlet titled The Co-Founders of Alcoholics Anonymous: Biographical Sketches: Their Last Major Talks (item # P-53). And I (Ken B.) will start the program off by quoting some of what Dr. Bob said on pages 13 and 14 of that important pamphlet.


In the early days. . . our stories didn’t amount to anything to speak of. When we started in on Bill D. [A.A. Number Three], we had no Twelve Steps either; we had no Traditions.


But we were convinced that the answer to our problems was in the Good Book. To some of us older ones, the parts we found absolutely essential were the Sermon on the Mount, the thirteenth chapter of First Corinthians, and the Book of  James. We used to have daily meetings at a friend’s house. [See Dick B., The Book of James and the Original A.A. Program’s Absolute Essentials].


It  wasn’t until 1938 that the teachings and efforts and studies  that had been going on were crystallized in the form of the Twelve Steps. I didn’t write the Twelve Steps. I had nothing to do with the writing of them. But I think I probably had something to do with them indirectly. After my June 10th episode, Bill came to live at our house and stayed for about three months. There was hardly a night that we didn’t sit up until two or three o’clock talking. . . . We already had the basic ideas, though not in terse and tangible form. We got them as a result of our study of the Good Book.


Synopsis of Dick B.’s Talk on Which Bible Version to Use for Your Study Group


The title of tonight’s talk is “A.A. Big Book/12 Step/Bible Study Groups: Which Bible Version

Should We Use.” The talk is based on a two part article just  posted on many websites, blogs, and forums, as well as being sent out in our newsletter. The first part is titled “Part One: First, Which “Big Book” Should We Use.” And we will have more to say  about that in another Christian Recovery Radio interview. But the focus tonight will be on Part Two- “Now, Which Bible Should We Use?”


And here are the answers provided to “Which Bible Should We Use?”


Two Suggested Biblical Pieces Used by Early AAsin Their “Christian Fellowship” Program


The King James Version of the Bible: Which Bible should we use? The most appropriate answer is “the Holy Bible”—in this case, the King James Version--which was the English Bible Version used, studied, and quoted by the early A.A. pioneers, and which provided the basic ideas for their program of recovery.


The Runner’s Bible: The next answer can properly be: The Runner’s Bible: Spiritual Guidance for People on the Run, compiled and annotated by Nora Holm, with an Introduction by Polly Berrien Berends (Lakewood, CO: I Level, Acropolis Books, 1998). This book is a reprint of The Runner’s Bible prepared in 1910 by Nora Holm. I found a copy of the earlier book among the books of Dr. Bob that were shown to me by Dr. Bob’s son and daughter. And Dr. Bob’s son, Robert R. Smith, told me that this was a favorite devotional his father used. And a statement of the Table of Contents may well show why:


            “In the Morning Will I Order My Prayer to Thee”

            The Godhead

            God the Father

            The Christ of God

            Him That Filleth All in All

            His Image and Likeness

            Walk in Love

            Rejoice Always

            In Everything Give Thanks

            Fear Not, Only Believe

            Get Wisdom, Get Understanding

            Ask and Ye Shall Receive

            He That is The Greatest Among You Shall Be Your Servant

            Forgive and Ye Shall Be Forgiven

            Be of Good Cheer, Thy Sins Be Forgiven Thee

            I Will Help Thee

            Behold, I Will Heal Thee

            For Thine Is The Power

            The Lord Shall Guide Thee Continually

            Thou Shalt Walk In Thy Way Safely

            All Things Are Yours

            Peace Be Unto You

            Happy Shalt Thou Be

            The Lord Will Lighten My Darkness             


Those familiar with the Bible will quickly recognize the biblical references in the subjects. They will also see biblical expressions applied in early A.A. And they will be seeing, in the many verses under each subject, just what “basic ideas” Dr. Bob stated the early AAs began studying, exerting themselves to learn, and teaching.


Four Well-Known, Relatively-New “Recovery” Bibles


The next four choices of a Bible for study are those that arose long, long after A.A. was founded in 1935. And here are they are:


1.         Serenity: A Companion for Twelve Step Recovery. Complete with New Testament, Psalms & Proverbs by Dr. Robert Hemfelt and Dr. Bernard Fowler (Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1990). Hemfelt is a psychologist who is said to have specialties in the treatment of codependency, addictions, and adult-children-of-abuse issues. Fowler is said to have a background in education, counseling, and administration.


Neither A.A.’s cofounders nor its other pioneers limited their Bible study in the way Serenity does. The Serenity authors state that the Twelve Steps are printed but adapted for use with all dependencies. There is extensive psychological talk about addictions and the like. The authors err in emphasizing the significance of the Oxford Group; while, at the same time, omitting: (a) the Christian predecessors of A.A., (b) the Christian upbringing of A.A.’s cofounders—which included intensive Bible study by both Bill W. and Dr. Bob as young men, (c) the fact that early A.A. in Akron called itself a “Christian fellowship,” and (d) the important statements by Dr. Bob that the earlier AAs felt the answer to their problems was in the Bible, and that the parts they considered absolutely essential were Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount, the Book of James, and 1 Corinthians 13. Missing too is the original Akron A.A. program which is stated in summary form in DR. BOB and the Good Oldtimers at page 131; and missing in addition are the 16 practices of the early A.A. Christians which implemented the seven-point program as summarized.


Serenity’s commentaries do not cover the important early A.A. requirements of belief in the Creator (Hebrews 11:6); conversion to God through His Son Jesus Christ (Romans 10:9); the significance in James 4:7 of submitting to God; the many phrases in Matthew 5, 6, and 7 from which Step ideas came; and the high regard in which early AAs held 1 Corinthians 13 and the importance of love.


2.         Recovery Devotional Bible New International Version: With 365 Daily Readings (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House, 1993). Verne Becker is the General Editor. This Bible contains a great many tools to aid study. The Bible’s front matter, for example, includes the following items: (a) Alphabetical Order of the Books of the Bible; (b) Acknowledgements; (c) Introduction to the Recovery Devotional Bible; (d) The Twelve Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous; (e) The Bible Step by Step; (f) Spiritual Roots of the Twelve Steps; (g) Working Together – The Bible and the Twelve Steps; (h) The Recovery Family; and (i) Preface to the New International Version.


In one sense, this version attempts to be all things to all studies--a daily devotional; a bit of A.A. history; and opinions as to how this or that verse can be applied to some Step or A.A. language.


And, except for a well-known article by Tim Stafford, there is no adequate presentation of early A.A., or of the all-important Sermon on the Mount, Book of James, and 1 Corinthians 13.


As an NIV, the book is perhaps more easily understood, yet open to private interpretation that may or may not square with the idea that the Word of God is God-inspired. The more one attempts to mix the secular with the biblical, the more the biblical end suffers from man-made reasoning instead of being the product of a renewed mind, coming from the transformation discussed in Romans 10:9, 12:1-3, and 2 Corinthian 5:7. There is no adequate recognition of the healing or cure that Bill Wilson claimed when he wrote “The Lord has cured me of this terrible disease.”


3.         The Life Recovery Bible: The Living Bible (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., 1992). The Executive Editors are David Stoop and Stephen Arterburn. This Bible is filled with footnotes explaining verses. It explains “The Big Picture” and “The Bottom Line” for each book of the Bible. It covers “Reflections” and “Insights.” Sprinkled through the various books of the Bible are large column references to a Step, and then to the authors’ attempt to relate the Step idea to a particular part of a particular book of the Bible. There is an Index to Twelve Step Devotionals, to Recovery Principle Devotionals, to Serenity Prayer Devotionals, and to Recovery Reflections.


My son Ken and I have seen this particular Bible in wide use among the many Bible study groups, Christian recovery fellowships, and 12-Step meetings of Christians all over the United States at which we have spoken; met with Christian treatment leaders, counselors, recovery pastors, doctors, clergy, and Salvation Army treatment programs.


As with the other three “recovery” Bibles, there are several problems that make them difficult for both the newcomer and/or the sponsor to master and utilize. They don’t discuss “old-school” A.A. adequately or accurately. Their histories are skewed to Bill Wilson’s “new version of the program” represented by the Twelve Steps. They tend to excuse or try to explain how A.A. is “spiritual but not religious;” and how it is open to all, including atheists. They strive and strain to make Bible verses fit into and with A.A.’s twelve, little “Steps.” Finally, they use the Bible in a way that neither early AAs nor most present-day AAs can find focused on their own life-problems, disasters, and legal and other difficulties.— as to which God can provide guidance, forgiveness, and deliverance. In that respect, they also fail to emphasize “cure” and “healing,” though early AAs spoke repeatedly of this. They fail to point much to the role that God, His Son Jesus Christ, and the Bible played in the Christian Recovery Movement. And they certainly fail to report adequately or accurately the real Christian origins of A.A. ideas from about 1850 forward—efforts or people and organizations that helped rather than condemned alcoholics. These included the Young Men’s Christian Association, the Salvation Army, Gospel Rescue Missions, Congregationalists, the great evangelists, and the United Society of Christian Endeavor.


If simplicity of presentation and simplicity of spiritual understanding are essential to an AA’s being lifted out of the hole by the power, love, forgiveness, healing, and guidance of Almighty God, then this simplicity is missing in every one of the Bibles that tries to present something other than God’s Word alone.


4.         Celebrate Recovery Bible: New International Version (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2007). Pastor John Baker is the founder of Celebrate Recovery, a ministry of Saddleback Church in California. The book is huge


As Baker explains in an introductory section called “About the Celebrate Recovery Bible”:


. . . [T]he familiar twelve steps remain intact under the Celebrate Recovery model, except that the vague language about a Higher Power gets specific, focusing on the one and only true Higher Power, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Celebrate Recovery is built on the eight proven Biblical principles based on the well-loved Beatitudes from Jesus’ famous Sermon on the Mount . . . The Christ-centered twelve steps fit neatly and naturally underneath the umbrella of the eight principles . . . [unnumbered page xi].


He then lists the following features of the Celebrate Recovery Bible: (a) Book Introductions; (b) Character Studies; (c) Recovery Stories; (d) Lesson Studies; (e) Recovery-related Scripture Ties; (f) Thirty Days of Devotions; (g) an Index Subjects Features; and to Character Sketches and Recovery Stories.


I will let this Bible speak for itself and be explained at a Celebrate Recovery meeting to those who have chosen to go the Celebrate Recovery route. And there are many! Once again, the sheer volume of Bible, explanations, mixture of Beatitudes and Steps, along with devotionals and the like, would seem to challenge a newcomer, a sponsor, and/or a group leader in a way that A.A. does not do—at least not in voluminous writing.


But it is fair to say that this is the newest, and possibly the most-widely-used, “recovery Bible” today.


But Let’s Consider The Following,Simple, Christian Choice That Is Available


First of all, most A.A. newcomers are sick, bewildered, confused, in endless troubles, frightened, and timid in their approach to recovery. I certainly was as well!


Second, “Keep it simple” is a common piece of wisdom of the rooms that is frequently suggested; and, if of value, is tailored to moving the alcoholic out of acute and delayed withdrawal, brain damage, confusion, and fear.


Third, In the early days, A.A. had excellent, qualified teachers. Among the lay teachers were:


           Dr. Bob’s wife—an ardent Bible student and former teacher;

           Henrietta Seiberling—a devoted Christian and Vassar graduate; and

           T. Henry Williams—a famous inventor and former Sunday school teacher.


Then there were the clergy on the East Coast—led by Rev. Samuel M. Shoemaker, Jr. And there was the highly-respected physician William D. Silkworth, M.D.—specialist in treating thousands of alcoholics.


Each teacher, in his or her own way, spoon-fed newcomers. With prayer; Quiet Time; three rather-brief segments of the Bible—Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount, the Book of James, and 1 Corinthians 13. And with surrender to God; Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior; much-needed hospitalization.; and with living or meeting in the homes as the early First Century Christians did. Finally, with simply helping others not so far along in recovery—all the while fellowshipping, witnessing, and converting.


How About Your Considering the following choice!


How about the following choice when it comes to the Bible, the Big Book, and Study Groups?


1.         Select a Bible version of choice—acquired, if desired, from a thrift shop.

2.         Think about the King James Version since that was used by A.A. pioneers and quoted in later A.A. literature.

3.         Read and teach from the Book of James, Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7), and 1 Corinthians 13.

4.         Bring in a pastor or Bible teacher to conduct study of those three books.

5.         Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.

6.         Discuss. Discuss. Discuss.

7.         Accompany all this with prayer, use of a devotional like The Runner’s Bible, and simple literature like Henry Drummond’s The Greatest Thing in the World (about 1 Cor 13).

8.         Graduate into the Christian books early AAs read for spiritual growth.

9.         Have a Christian A.A. teach simple A.A. history.

10.       Have a Christian A.A. who is Big Book-oriented teach how the historical approach and the Bible can be applied in A.A. today.

11.       Witness!


For further information, contact Dick B. at, or  808 874 487 6

Friday, March 29, 2013

A.A.. and Christianity


Alcoholics Anonymous and Christianity


Dick B.

© 2013 Anonymous. All rights reserved


[This Article is an outline of a major piece on Alcoholics Anonymous and Christianity. It is posted now because of the number of other writings on the subject of Alcoholics Anonymous and Christianity and on the subject of Christians in Alcoholics Anonymous. In the next day or so, citations backing up the statements and quotes will be appended; and the article will be revised accordingly]


Early Alcoholics Anonymous called itself a “Christian Fellowship.”


Observers frequently said that early A.A. was “First Century Christianity” at work.


Bill W. specifically said that Dr. Bob had reminded a group of AAs, including Bill, that most of them were practicing Christians.


A.A. Cofounder Dr. Bob had a deep and meaningful Christian upbringing.


A.A. Cofounder Bill W. also had a deep and meaningful Christian upbringing.


There were a number of Christian organizations and people who were helping drunks long before A.A. was founded; and these impacted on the lives of the Cofounders and the ideas adopted by A.A.


Bill W. said that the ideas in the First Step came from Dr. William D. Silkworth, who was a devoted Christian, a member of Rev. Sam Shoemaker’s Calvary Church in New York, and was the one who first told Bill that Jesus Christ, the Great Physician could cure Bill of his alcoholism.


A.A.’s connection with the Oxford Group at the beginning was mentioned by both Bill W. and Dr. Bob. And the Oxford Group was called “A First Century Christian Fellowship.”


Dr. Bob’s wife recommended to early AAs that they read books on the life of Jesus Christ and that they read the Bible every single day.


The devotionals that early AAs used in their prayer and meditation sessions were uniformly Christian.


All AAs in the Akron Number One Group were required to make a “regular surrender” in which they accepted Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.


The books that Dr. Bob read and circulated among early AAs were primarily Christian and numbered in the dozens.


Bill Wilson accepted Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior at Calvary Rescue Mission in New York and wrote in his autobiography, “For sure, I’d been born again.”


The family of Dr. Bob—parents and grandparents—were very active in the North Congregational Church of St. Johnsbury


The family of Bill W.—parents and grandparents—were very active in the East Dorset Congregational Church in Vermont.


Both Dr. Bob and Bill W. were raised in Congregational churches and Sunday schools in Vermont--all attended by their parents and grandparents. They both attended Academies run by Congregationalists and which required attendance at Daily Chapel with Sermons, Hymns, Prayers, and reading of Scripture.


The early A.A. program in Akron, Ohio was founded primarily on Christian principles and practices laid down by the Young People’s Society of Christian Endeavor,  in which Dr. Bob and his family were active in Vermont.


Bill W.’s “new version” of the program embodied in his Big Book and 12 Steps four years later was, according to Bill, based primarily on the teachings of Rev. Samuel M. Shoemaker, Jr., Rector of the Calvary Episcopal Church in New York, and whom Bill called a “cofounder of A.A.”


Dr. Bob’s wife kept a journal from 1933-1939 from which she read each morning to AAs and their families; and in it, she spoke frequently of the Bible, Christian literature, Jesus Christ, God, and the Holy Spirit.


Both Bill and Bob had extensive involvement with the Young Men’s Christian Association. Bill as President, and Dr. Bob’s father as President.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Overcomers Outreach, Inc., Interview on Radio by Dick B.

Dick B. interviews Christian Recovery leader Jeff M. on the March 26, 2013, episode of the "Christian Recovery Radio with Dick B." show


Dick B.

© 2013 Anonymous. All rights reserved


Hear the Show Right Now if You Wish


You may listen to Dick B. interview Christian recovery leader Jeff M. of Overcomers Outreach, Inc., on the March 26, 2013, episode of the "Christian Recovery Radio with Dick B." show here:

or here:

Episodes of the "Christian Recovery Radio with Dick B." show are archived at:


Preliminary Comment by Dick B. about Bridges and Divisions


It is appropriate today to interject this comment on bridges and divisions because our guest is Executive Director of Overcomers Outreach, Inc.—a group offering a bridge between “Big Book and Bible” when it comes to recovery today.


Why should we have Christian recovery churches and organizations that ban 12 Step, A.A., and non-organization literature? Why should we have individual Christians and a few among clergy who urge drunks and addicts to stay away from A.A. and 12 Step fellowships “because none of these are Christian?” Why should we have A.A. meetings where a bleeding deacon insults a Christian AA and tries to suppress his sharing because he mentions Jesus or the Bible? And why should there be a growing consensus in the 12 Step community that you really don’t have to believe in anything at all to be an AA or to recover from alcoholism and addiction? Freedom of speech may be invoked as a reason. But what about love, kindness, gentleness, selflessness, avoiding unseemly, being not easily provoked, thinking no evil, and rejoicing in the truth?


Why! How does any of this disruptive behavior help the alcoholic or addict who still suffers? How does any of this square with well-documented history that early A.A. was a Christian Fellowship that held prayer meetings, studied the Bible, read Christian literature, and urged belief in God and coming to Him through Jesus?  And succeeded! How does any of this fit with the much publicized A.A. ideas of “Unity” and “Service;” “Love and Tolerance;” and “Love and Service?” And how can one take these positions when some of the greatest charitable institutions like the American Red Cross disaster workers, Salvation Army relief volunteers, Army nurses, and the United Way impose no litmus test as to whom they can serve and help—regardless of the religious convictions of victims?


Introduction of Speaker


Our guest today is Jeff M., Executive Director of Overcomers Outreach, Inc.--a Christian Twelve Step Bridge Group with headquarters in Whittier, California. These are very exciting days for us at Christian Recovery Radio because--in addition to the many Christian recovery leaders and workers that we have interviewed up to this point--we are being deluged with new faces, new energies, and new growth in the International Christian Recovery Coalition. This includes the role of God, His Son Jesus Christ, and the Bible in recovery in all 50 states and in other countries. But our connection with Overcomers Outreach, Inc., is seasoned and long-standing. We're delighted to have Jeff here today.


Bob Bartosch and his wife Pauline organized Overcomers Outreach as a Christian recovery bridge group. They published a guidebook; they worked tirelessly to help alcoholics, addicts, and those with other life-controlling problems seek, find, and receive God's help. And I (Dick B.) was privileged to speak at one of their large conferences in Southern California. And then Bob passed away. However, Pauline was determined to keep the embers glowing.


In October 2008, she introduced Jeff to Ken and me at our conference in Pasadena, CA. Pauline reported that they had Jeff as a great, new director. And since then, we've seen nothing but vibrant service that glorifies God among the addicted and those affected by addiction.


Jeff will tell us about his upbringing, family, education, religious background, Twelve Step work, and activities in moving Overcomers Outreach back into a center place in the arena of the Christian Recovery Movement. Also a bit about his addiction experience. We hope to hear about the many new events and outreach efforts that are characterizing Overcomers Outreach today--including their new guidebook.


Take it away, Jeff


Synopsis of Jeff M.’s Interview by Dick B.


Jeff’s life began with a split family with three children—mother and father divorced. And Jeff decided his role was to make what he could of himself. He reflected: Your only relationship with God was to meet Him when you died!


Jeff attended Maritime Academy and spent 25 years on ships, oil tankers and tug boats. He thought his family were OK with his drinking. But he didn’t notice that their drinking was different from his. His next activity was crack. But by July 4, 2002, he realized he was alone in a small garage apartment. He was hopeless. He seized a bottle of cheap vodka. But he then cried out: “If you’re real now, God, I need your help now!” And his phone rang. It was Jeff’s estranged dad who wanted to help. He got Jeff into rehab and 12 Step recovery. But they were talking about a “power greater than yourself” which could be a tree or some “cosmic force.” But he had also connected with a church after rehab. He remembered how he had cried out to God for help.  And, said Jeff, the Gospel made sense to him for the first time, when the pastor told him to “open your heart and say “yes” to Jesus Christ.” Jeff decided he then could work with the 12 Steps.


Jeff was laid off as a store manager. He had friends in different 12 Step programs. And he started reading the Bible. His sponsor said it was OK to go to church and to read the Bible. The sponsor noted that the 12 Steps once emerged from the Bible. And he told Jeff, “Try.” Then Jeff attended an Overcomers Outreach, Inc. meeting where there was discussion of the 12 Steps and the Bible. And members talked about the Holy Bible. Again, his sponsor said: “By all means, go!”


The Overcomers meeting enabled Jeff to build a support  network; to see a little worship, prayer, reading of Scripture, and how it could be applied in this day. Members talked about God with other believers. After being laid off, Jeff attending an Overcomers meeting in San Luis Obispo where he met Pauline Bartosch and some of the Board members. They suggested he take on the job of Executive Director of Overcomers. He prayed, talked to his pastor, and then accepted.


Jeff became a great supporter of the recovery arena and International Christian Recovery Coalition. He felt that the divisions between AAs, churches, and atheists need not be. They should get over their differences; and build together. Jeff became a deacon in his church but began working mainly in the A.A. scene, and with homeless. He found many AAs with 10, 18, 20 years who were hungry for something else. They wanted to hear the Gospel. Some listened, and some walked away. But Jeff subscribed to the biblical phrase that his workers could plant and water, but it was God who would give the increase. There were to be no objections to talking about Jesus. No prohibitions. No restrictions on literature read. The group has now published Overcomers Outreach-A Bridge to Recovery (3rd ed.) which can be obtained online from


For more information, contact or 808 874 4876

Monday, March 25, 2013

Fort Worth AA History Conference Soon

Many in Texas have asked Ken and me to come to Texas and help arrange and speak at an Alcoholics Anonymous History and Christian Recovery Conference in Fort Worth Texas in the next few months. Today we received an invitation from a wonderful pastor and his wife who are also in the program with very substantial sobriety. We put on a conference for two years in a row in Mill Valley, California in early 1990's. The archivist from GSO, Dr. Bob's son, films of Bill and of Bob, the author of Pass It On, and Oxford Group activist T. Willard Hunter were there; and the second year, 800 people were blessed with the effort.
If you are enthused about bringing this activity to the Lone Star State, please contact me at; and let us know if  you would attend and also if  you would  be willing to help. 808 874 4876

Sunday, March 24, 2013

The Christian's place in AA, NA, and 12 Step Groups

Are you a Christian in a deep pit because of drunkenness or addictive behavior? Would you like to be told you are hell-bound if you dare to go to an A.A., N.A., or other 12 Step meeting; help another drunk; or seek God? We don’t think so! See The Conversion of Bill W.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

AA Conference-approved books today mention God, Christ

Yes! AA Conference-approved books Now Mention God, Christ,  the Bible




A.A. “Conference-approved” Literature That Frequently Mentions the Bible and God

Yep! You heard or read that correctly


A Two-Part Discussion of the Long Overlooked Big Book Personal Stories


Dick B.

Copyright 2013 Anonymous. All rights reserved


Part Two: Alcoholics Anonymous: The Original 1939 Edition, Segment 2A

(Dover Publications, Inc., 2011)


About Part One


In Part One, we discussed the A.A. General Service Conference-approved book published in 2003, which restored to “Conference-approved” status so many of the Big Book personal stories that were removed—piece by piece—over the years by printing new editions that simply eliminated them and replaced them with stories deemed more suitable to the powers that be.

We pointed to the lame excuses that the replacement took place because First Edition stories were written by the “uneducated;” merely to show “what we were like’ (emphasis added), and that they were written in an alleged “flying blind period,” “trial and error” by nature, and with plenty of “mistakes.”


About Part Two: How The First Edition, Personal Stories, and Dick B. Introduction in the Dover Publications Book Can Really Help Drunks Seek and Be Helped by God


In Part Two, we propose that those in 12-Step Fellowships freely use today two major tools:


(1) Point to, and boldly state that all the Big Book personal stories are now “Conference-approved” and thereby overcome the “bleeding deacon” test which consigned them to oblivion as relics of by-gone days. This can be done by citing the new “Conference-approved” publication by A.A. itself Experience, Strength and Hope


(2) Use for general reading, authoritative facts, and application of old school A.A. principles today, the 2011 publication Alcoholics Anonymous “The Big Book” The Original 1939 Edition Bill W.: With a New Introduction by Dick B. (Mineola, NY: Dover Publications, Inc., 2011).  In so doing, you can treat the personal stories and the testimonies that were intended to show how and why the original, old school program—summarized by Frank Amos in DR.BOB and the Good Oldtimers, at page 131—had produced the successes (75% claimed in Akron, and 93% documented in Cleveland) attained by reliance on God, accepting Christ, obeying God’s will, using the Bible and prayer, and helping others. Bearing in mind and taking special note that the stories did not and could not mention the Big Book or the Twelve Steps because neither existed prior to the date of publication in 1939.


What You Will Learn From the Dover Publications Edition


Dick B. and Ken B. have recently published two new books that supplement the Dick B. Introduction to the Dover Publications reprint of the Original 1939 of the Big Book


The First is Stick with the Winners! This book shows you how today’s Conference-approved literature and many many quotes in it fully support the mention, discussion, and study of the numerous books about old school Akron AA Group No. One. See


The Second is Pioneer Stories in Alcoholics Anonymous. This book shows you the difference between the personal stories in the Big Book First Edition. It quotes extensively from them. It proves the frequency with which Akron AA Oldtimers mentioned, quoted, discussed, and studied about God, His Son Jesus Christ, the Bible and the devotionals and religious literature early AAs read so freely.


The simple fact is that the personal stories in the Original 1939 Edition of the Big Book are about how the early program’s Christian principles and practices were used in the lives of the pioneers to establish a relationship with God and achieve the astonishing success rates of those days.


The surprising fact is that those personal stories are NOT testimonials about how anyone “worked” Bill’s Twelve Step program—which Bill called a “new version” of the program. Why? Because the Big Book had not yet been written. The Big Book “new version” was, by Bill’s own later writings taken basically from three sources: 1) Dr. Silkworth’s advice to Bill prior to the Big Book. 2) Professor William James’s emphasis on the effectiveness of a variety of “vital religious experiences”—the experiences that James covered in his famous book, the Dr. Carl Jung explained to Rowland Hazard about conversion, and 3) the Oxford Group ideas that Bill had heard so often on the East Coast and which were conveyed to Bill by the teachings of Rev. Samuel M. Shoemaker, Jr.


• Despite shopworn and disarming statements that are frequently made with the claim that the Big Book language has never been changed, you will see the error of that claim. And you will see that the entire Bill Wilson conversion experience program was completely altered by eliminating the A.A. Solution—A “Spiritual Experience,” which had previously been called a “vital religious experience” by William James, Dr. Carl Jung, Rev. Samuel M. Shoemaker, and Bill Wilson himself.


• You will see from the original First Edition personal stories just how many times Christ and Christianity were mentioned, how many times the Bible was mentioned, and how very frequently reliance on God (not some nonsense god or illusory higher power) was stressed.


• You will see from the extensive introduction by Dick B. the importance of the First Edition stories; precise places where God, Christianity, and the Bible were mentioned; and how these stories fit so neatly with the real Akron A.A. Christian Fellowship program founded in 1935 that has been the subject of so many Dick B. books and articles. See for example The Dick B. Christian Recovery Guide, 3rd ed., 2010


Probative Direct Quotes from Personal Stories, Segment 2A--Using Dover’s Pages as References


1. The first story is Dr. Bob’s. And the last page—193—will suffice:


If you think you are an atheist, an agnostic, a skeptic, or have any other form of intellectual pride which keeps you from accepting what is in this book, I feel sorry for you. . . . Your Heavenly Father will never let you down!


2. The Unbeliever, pp. 194-205:


I asked him desperately what it was. And he said, “God.”


. . . if I will humble myself, if I will give in and bow in submission to that SOMETHING and then try to lead a life as fully in accord with my idea of good as possible, I will be in tune. And later the word good contracted in his mind to God.


God, have mercy on my soul!


3. The European Drinker, pp. 206-216:


You can’t win unless you try God’s way.


. . . he made God seem personal to me, explained Him as a being who was interested in me, the alcoholic, and that all I needed to do was to follow His way; that as long as I followed it I would be able to overcome my desire for liquor.


And he further said that God would not accept me as a sincere follower of His Divine Law unless I was ready to be thoroughly honest about it.


That day I gave my will to God and asked to be directed. . . . So I began to pray; to place my problems in God’s hands.


I have proven to myself and to many others who know me that God can keep a man sober if he will let him.


4. A Feminine Victory, pp. 217-225:


The ability to accept them as my own has been derived from trying with the un-ending help of God. . .


He asked me if I believed in God. . . Well, I did believe in God. . .


“Our Father which art in Heaven.”


I had been taught to realize there is a God and to “love” him.


“Here it is God, all mixed up. I don’t know how to un-mix it, I’ll leave it to you”


Finally I . . . briefly asked God to show me how to do what He wanted me today.


Well, I got the Bible and “Victorious Living” [“Victorious Living” is a book read widely by early AAs and written by E. Stanley Jones—whose books Dr. Bob’s wife recommended as “all good.”] and sitting down in full view of the bottle of whiskey, I commenced to read. I also prayed


I must keep myself worthy of Divine help.


5. Our Southern Friend, pp. 226-241:


Suddenly a thought comes. Can all the worthwhile people I have known be wrong about God?


“Who are you to say there is no God?” It rings in my head, I can’t get rid of it.


I tumble out of bed onto my knees. I know not what I say, But slowly a great peace comes to me. I feel lifted up. I believe in God. I crawl back into bed and sleep like a child.


Today as I become more harmonized within, I become more in tune with all of God’s wonderful creation. . . and a host of other things tell me of the glory of God.


And with it, direction by the Spirit of God.


And above all else comes a greater thankfulness to, and a greater love for Our Father in heaven.


6. A Business Man’s Recovery, pp. 242-251:


The thing that Bill told me was his own story. . . I had always believed in God even though I was not a devout church goer.


Crazy as the idea seemed when broached to me by these men who had found it worked, God did come right into my work, when permitted, as He had come into the other activities connected with my life.


7. Traveler, Editor, Scholar, pp. 254-264: [A.A. itself wrote: “Originally published under the title “Traveler, Editor, Scholar” in the first edition. The title was changed to “The News Hawk” and the story was edited for the second edition.” (underlining added)


I found my friend was there for alcoholism and now he was insisting that he had found the only cure. I listened to him, rather tolerantly. I noticed a Bible on his table and it amazed me. I had never known him to be anything but a good healthy pagan with a propensity for getting into liquor jams and scrapes.


I had never, since the believing days of childhood, been able to conceive an authority directly the universe. But I had never been a flippant, wise-cracking sneerer at the few persons I had met who had impressed me as Christian men and women. . . No conviction was necessary to establish my status as a miserable failure at managing my own life. I began to read the Bible daily. . .


I can remember the urge of the Prodigal Son to return to his Father. . .


. . . in those days I had no one to whom I might take my troubles. Toda y I have. Today I have Someone who will always hear me. . .


Gloria Deo














Gloria Deo