The Runner's Bible

J. Howell
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Publisher
J. Howell
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Published on
Dec 31, 1913
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Pages
133
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Language
English
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This content is DRM free.
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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.
Early AAs studied the Bible, took their basic recovery ideas from the Bible, and stressed reading it. They called it "the Good Book." The Good Book was read at the beginning of almost every pioneer meeting. It was read at the Quiet Times held each morning at the home of Dr. Bob and Anne Smith for AAs and their families. It was the subject of almost every book, article, and devotional they used in their own Quiet Times. Bill W. later wrote Rev. Sam Shoemaker that he would like to see Bible study groups of AAs studying the Word "in church basements." Well and good! We know early AAs did study Jesus' Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5 to 7), 1 Corinthians 13, the Book of James, Psalms 23 and 91, and many other verses and chapters cited in the Christian literature they circulated. But what precisely did they study and borrow? Where do you begin today if you wish to adopt their highly successful practice? Just which portions will bring the power, peace, joy, liberty, forgiveness, healing, and deliverance from alcoholism and their other problems that early AAs sought and achieved in relying on their Creator? How do you begin if you are in A.A. or another 12 Step program, and want to understand the program by using the Good Book in the way A.A.'s founders and pioneers did? Author Dick B. has spent 21 years researching the biblical roots and sources of early A.A.'s program. He has published 42 titles on the subject. And four of his recent titles are specifically devoted to, and useful for, Good Book study and Good Book groups in recovery programs such as A.A., Al-Anon, and the many other 12 Step groups. The four books, including this very title, are: (1) The Good Book and The Big Book: A.A.'s Roots in the Bible; (2) Good Morning!: Quiet Time, Morning Watch, Meditation, and Early A.A.; (3) By the Power of God: A Guide to Early A.A. Groups & Forming Similar Groups Today; (4) Why Early A.A. Succeeded: The Good Book in Alcoholics Anonymous Yesterday and Today (A Bible Study Primer for AAs and other 12-Steppers). We recommend you obtain and use all four as a set. This particular title has the much-requested, much-needed, and highly-useful guides for AAs and other "self-help" people in today's recovery arena. The power and deliverance and love of the Creator are available today. They have simply been obscured by New Age language on "spirituality," "higher powers," "any god," and just plain idols that abound in today's room talk and literature. There are plenty of books on Bible study. There is none that addresses early A.A.'s own endorsements of Bible study, its own approach to the Good Book, and the particular "release from prisons" that AAs and others need and can find in the Bible itself. This is a "how to" book. It doesn't tell you what to believe, how to believe, or what to join. It does tell you "how to" read the Bible, understand early A.A. ideas and victories founded on the Bible, and put the whole deliverance picture together for yourself. The set of four books will point up four different areas of need and the solutions. First, what is the evidence in A.A. of Bible ideas and language (The Good Book and The Big Book). Second, what is the meaning of real "meditation" and Quiet Time as they were practiced (Good Morning!). Third, how did they, and can you today, accomplish coordinating recovery ideas with God's own ideas in groups (By the Power of God). Finally, in this title, just what can you look for and use in the Bible now (Why Early A.A. Succeeded)! Treat yourself to the facts! You will no longer find them in Twelve Step, Recovery, or Therapy writings. Yet they were the heart of early A.A.'s "Program" and successes.
According to A.A.'s "Basic Text," Alcoholics Anonymous (affectionately known within A.A. as "the Big Book"), early A.A. achieved an astounding 75% success rate among "seemingly-hopeless," "medically-incurable," alcoholics who thoroughly followed the original Akron A.A. "Christian fellowship" program that A.A.'s cofounders, Bill W. and Dr. Bob, began to develop over the summer of 1935. And Dr. Bob's sponsee, Clarence Snyder, reported in the A.A. General Service Conference-approved book DR. BOB and the Good Oldtimers that early A.A. in Cleveland obtained a documented 93% success rate in working with such alcoholics. They did it by relying on God and by basing their relationship with Him on the principles of the Bible. This comprehensive history discusses the biblical sources from which A.A.'s founders said they obtained their recovery ideas--focusing particularly on the Sermon on the Mount, 1 Corinthians 13, and the Book of James. For many A.A.s, the Bible was a standard of truth upon which they could depend for the power and guidance that they needed in their lives. Author Dick B.--an active, recovered member of A.A., a bible student, and a sponsor of over 100 men in their recovery--here shows how a knowledge of A.A.'s Good Book roots can be used effectively to produce a high recovery rate in today's Twelve Step programs. THE PURPOSE AND IMPORTANCE OF THE GOOD BOOK TITLE Dick B. wrote The Good Book and The Big Book: A.A.'s Roots in the Bible to provide an accurate, comprehensive statement of the basic ideas and principles early AAs took from the Bible as they were developing their spiritual program of recovery and later the Big Book and the Twelve Steps. This title by Dick B. has stood the test of time. It is much in demand. It is now used in counselor training, Salvation Army programs, A.A. meetings, spiritual retreats for AAs and their families, and in seminars and programs for people in recovery, whether in A.A., Al-Anon, or such groups as CityTeam Ministries, the Association of Christian Drug and Alcohol Counselors, Overcomers Outreach, Footprints and Alcoholics Victorious. The Clarence Snyder Spiritual Retreats for AAs and their families, numerous participants in Celebrate Recovery meetings, and the International Christian Recovery Coalition also use this title as part of their study of Christian recovery.
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