Wednesday, September 07, 2011

A.A., the Oxford Group, Jesus Christ, and the "Four Absolutes"

A.A., the Oxford Group, Jesus' Sermon on the Mount, Dr. Robert E. Speer, and the "Four Absolutes"--Honesty, Purity, Unselfishness, and Love.

It might help the readers to know that the origin of the 4th Step idea lies in Jesus' Sermon on the Mount which was considered "absolutely essential" by early AAs.

The verses from Matthew 1-5 keep popping up in the writings or talks of Dr. Bob and his wife Anne Smith. Anne talks about getting the log out of her own eye before looking for the speck in the neighbor's eye. Which can be found in Matthew 1-5 in the King James Version of the Bible, used by A.A. pioneers.

When it comes to the Four Absolutes, the Oxford Group and Shoemaker certainly used them. Anne Smith spoke of them as "Make the Moral Test." Some writers have erroneously thought that the Four Absolutes came from Jesus' Sermon on the Mount. But the best evidence is that the idea started with the pre-Oxford Group book by Robert E. Speer, "The Principles of Jesus." It was then expanded through verses cited by Professor Henry Wright who was Frank Buchman's principal mentor. The absolutes were first and often called the "standards" in the Oxford Group and even in A.A. But Professor Wright was the one who emphasized the idea of "absolute"


God Bless, Dick B.

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