The James Club and the Original A.A. Programs
First Edition Design ebook Publishing
Publication date: November 2011
Digital Book format: ePub (Adobe DRM)
You save: $1.00 (9%)
For years, A.A. has quietly acknowledged, primarily through one publication, that the early A.A. pioneers in Akron believed firmly that the answer to all their problems was in the "Good Book," as they called the Bible. A.A. cofounder Dr. Bob said that all the basic ideas were taken from their study of the Good Book. And he added many many times that the three parts of the Bible the old timers considered "absolutely essential" to their spiritual program of recovery were: (1) The Book of James. (2) Jesus's Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7). (3) 1 Corinthians 13, Paul's famous chapter on "love." You can find the foregoing remarks in A.A.'s DR. BOB and the Good Oldtimers, in pamphlets published by Akron AA, and in several talks given through the years by Dr. Bob himself. And it was even his co-founder friend Bill Wilson who spoke of the studies of James, the Sermon, and Corinthians; the reading of these passages by Dr. Bob's wife Anne to Bill and Bob; and the fact that--as Bill put it--"James was our favorite." And he added that many favored calling the A.A. fellowship "The James Club." But this title offers a great deal more. In three major parts, it provides a detailed framework for studying each of the three Bible parts--just as the A.A. pioneers did. The reader can sit with his Bible open beside him, his Big Book available for reference, and Dick B.'s The James Club title before him. He can study each of the three parts, digest their messages, compare with the A.A. program and its ideas, and then apply these biblical truths in daily life, in practicing the Twelve Steps, and in understanding the miracles that the Creator Yahweh wrought when the pioneers read and believed! The first part of the book covers Jesus' "Sermon on the Mount" (Matthew 5-7), which both Bill W. and Dr. Bob said contained the underlying spiritual philosophy of A.A. The title begins with the Book of James, however. Dick B. details why it has primacy in the study--based in part on its being the AAs' favorite and in part on the ease with which it can be read and understood. Yet the meat of this wonderful book of the Bible lies in its explicit formula for cure--especially the cure of the alcoholic. James speaks of patience. He speaks of enduring temptation. He speaks of seeking God's wisdom without doubting. He speaks of temptation as the enticement which turns into sin and finally death. He strongly suggests that the readers be "doers of the word (the Bible) not hearers only, deceiving themselves. He spells out what "doing" the Word is. It's about action; it's about following the "royal law" of loving thy neighbor; its about benevolent giving without respect of persons and with specific aim at the downtrodden; it's about backing up one's "faith" with deeds--"works" as James called them; it's about guarding the tongue and guarding the thoughts and guarding the actions so that devilish thoughts and impulses do not take over; and finally it's about the importance of prayer, confession of faults and the Lord's forgiveness, and about prayer for healings. In a nutshell, this book summarizes the whole pioneer approach in Akron; and, of course, it has nothing to do with "steps" or a "basic text" or the "Oxford Group." For there were no Steps, no Traditions, no Big Books, no "drunkalogs," and no meetings as we know them today. It's about God's healing ministry, as A.A. old-timer Clarence Snyder put it. Then there's 1 Corinthians 13 and its relationship to Henry Drummond's famous treatise The Greatest Thing in the World.