A.A.'s Cofounder Dr. Bob said many times that, at the beginning, they had no Steps, no Traditions, and no significant stories. He went on the say that the oldtimers felt that Jesus' Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5 -7), 1 Corinthians 13, and the Book of James were considered absolutely essential to their Alcoholics Anonymous program. Further, he added that he did not write the Twelve Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous. He had nothing to do with writing them, he said. But he pointed out that the basic ideas of the Twelve Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous came from their effort and study in the Bible. And to see what he was referring to, we have published Dick B., The James Club & The Original A.A. Program's Absolute Essentials (See www.dickb.com/JamesClub.shtml).
Now many AAs may hear the expressions "First Things First," "Easy Does It," "Thy will be done," and those referring to forgiveness, making amends, taking a moral inventory, purity, love, etc.
Few realize how much better they could understand these ideas if they looked to the portions of the Bible known as Jesus' Sermon on the Mount, found in Matthew 5-7.
Similarly, AAs hear expressions like "Faith without works is dead," "taming the tongue," confessing faults one to another, eliminating grudges, "loving thy neighbor as thyself," and avoiding temptation. Here also, better understanding of God's will in these matters can be found in the Book of James.
Lastly, AAs are quite familiar with expressions like patience, tolerance, kindness, and love. But they would more easily relate these ideas to the Bible and to a better understanding of the Twelve Steps and Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous if they read the short chapter in 1 Corinthians 13.
That is why we published our title The James Club. That is why a number of A.A. study groups across the United States and Canada have called themselves The James Club--because early AAs considered the Book of James to be their favorite and wanted to call their society The James Club.
To find a line-by-line, verse-by-verse comparison of the Biblical ideas in Jesus' Sermon on the Mount, 1 Corinthians 13, and the Book of James with specific quotes or specific references to these basic Bible ideas in Alcoholics Anonymous, its Big Book, and its literature, we encourage you to purchase The James Club, either on our website www.dickb.com/JamesClub.shtml, or by going to Amazon.com.
Get up to speed on the facts as to where A.A. ideas first came from. Get a Bible. Read Matthew 5-7, 1 Corinthians 13, and the Book of James. All three segments are easy reading. And our title The James Club will make the whole picture quite clear to you and strengthen your recovery efforts.
See also our new Introductory Class with 4 DVD's and guides--"Introductory Foundations for Christian Recovery." This class is meant to be a startup for study groups, history inquiries, treatment programs, counseling, prison and homeless outreach, and Christ-centered recovery groups and fellowships. It will show you how A.A. began and why the Bible backdrop is important for you to know if you don't just want to spew forth opinions and speculations about A.A. and its ideas that have no foundation in fact.