The Oxford Group & Alcoholics Anonymous
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The Oxford Group was first known as “A First Century Christian Fellowship.” Later, during a train trip, the press dubbed the travelers (most from Oxford University) “the Oxford Group.” And the nick name stuck. But its literature continued to refer to it as “A First Century Christian Fellowship” for almost a decade thereafter.
This A First Century Christian Fellowship certainly was not the origin of Alcoholics Anonymous. The Bible was. See The Good Book and the Big Book: A.A.’s Roots in the Bible. www.dickb.com/goodbook.shtml. A.A. cofounder Dr. Bob pointed out that the basic A.A. ideas came from their study, efforts, and teachings from the Bible.
And even, in the case of the Oxford Group, a very early pamphlet was written and began as” The Principles of the Oxford Group Are the Principles of the Bible.” www.dickb.com/Oxford.shtml.
Though Bill Wilson and Dr. Bob had both been associated with A First Century Christian Fellowship—Bill for several months in New York, and Dr. Bob for two and a half years in Akron---the Bible was the source of the original Akron A.A. Christian Fellowship program founded in June, 1935; and that is apparent from DR. BOB and the Good Oldtimers, page 131.
What is factual is that when Bill obtained authority to write a book, Bill turned back to New York and to his friend Rev. Samuel M. Shoemaker, Jr. for almost all the content of his “new version” of the program (the Twelve Steps) published in the Big Book in 1939.
You can see how many ideas, how many phrases, and how much language in Bill’s Big Book came directly from the Oxford Group www.dickb.com/Oxford.shtml and from Rev. Samuel M. Shoemaker, Jr., its principal American leader. See New Light on Alcoholism: God, Sam Shoemaker, and A.A. www.dickb.com/newlight.shtml.
If you are a Christian and want to see the sold biblical and Christian roots of Alcoholics Anonymous, the place to learn, look, and become informed is the original old school Akron A.A. program and the new version published four years later in 1939 as Alcoholics Anonymous.
Remember! The Bible for the program of early Akron A.A. and what that Christian Fellowship did. The Oxford Group, Rev. Sam Shoemaker, Professor William James, and William D. Silkworth, M.D. for the sources Bill named as the specific origins of the Twelve Steps.