"Dick B. interviews Christian recovery leader Dr. Douglas Himes" on the October 10, 2012, episode of the "Christian Recovery Radio with Dick B." show
Copyright 2012 Anonymous. All rights reserved
You Can Listen to this Interview right now!
You may hear Dick B. interviews Christian recovery leader Dr. Douglas Himes on the September 24, 2012, episode of the "Christian Recovery Radio with Dick B." show here:
Episodes of the "Christian Recovery Radio with Dick B." show are archived at:
Dr. Douglas D. Himes, Ph.D. was interviewed today by A.A. historian Dick B. Dr. Himes is a participant in the International Christian Recovery Coalition www.ChristianRecoveryCoalition.com. He has a major focus on the importance of having those in recovery reconnect with the Christian roots of Alcoholics Anonymous and develop a personal relationship with a loving and merciful God. We asked him to tell us about his background and work, and particularly his latest book, Higher Power: Seeking God in 12 – Step Recovery (Nashville: Abingdon Press, 2012. And I was honored to be asked to review and endorse that book and did so with pleasure.
I would start this synopsis of the interview with two major observations from his book and from this interview—a radio presentation which I hope you will take the time to hear.
(1) Dr. Himes knows his Bible. He knows his Big Book. And he is one of those articulate people who, today, recognizes that the much over-used and little-understood phrase “higher power” makes a significant reference to God. For that is what Bill Wilson, Dr. Norman Vincent Peale, and Dr. Douglas Himes, plainly state it to be about. It was and is about God. The higher power phrase was used in the Big Book only twice (both times with reference to God) compared to the 400 times the biblical concept of God as God, Creator, Maker, Heavenly Father, and Father of Lights appeared in A.A.’s Big Book.
(2) At the beginning of his book, Dr. Himes spells out three insights:
“God did not cause our suffering. In the throes of despair we are tempted to question why God would want to hurt us so deeply.” Rejecting this “blame game,” the author
quotes Proverbs 26:27, “Whoever digs a pit will fall into it, and a stone will come back on the one who started it rolling.” (Pages 12-13)
“I believe we can find in our suffering lies great promise.” He quotes Psalm 30:5b, “Weeping may linger for the night, but joy comes with the morning.” And Psalm 126:5, “Those who sow in tears reap with shouts of joy.” He says: “The purpose of suffering is not the suffering itself. If we think it’s about the pain, we have missed the point. “It is the essence of God’s grace that God cares more about the person we can become than about the person we have been.” Dr. Himes quotes Paul from Romans 8:18, “I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory about to be revealed to us.” Himes says: “Our faith is gounded in that hope, for faith means believing in advance what will only make sense in reverse.” (Pages 13-14)
“We are never alone in the darkness. It is the central message of the Christmas story. It is why the Messiah was called ‘Emmanuel,’ which means ‘God is with us.’ No matter how deep our darkness, we will never be alone. God is with us.” (Page 17).
Unlike what I often do in summaries, I will not cover the Himes interview here. It was and is too meaty, too articulate, and too lengthy to do it justice. The reader should make a point of listening to it. And soon!
Dr. Himes grew up in the Episcopal Church and then, as an adult, became an Episcopalian, and finally an Anglican. He also became an alcoholic; went to Cumberland for treatment; and then focused on two solutions: (1) a call to ministry. (2) becoming a chaplain assistant at the prestigious Cumberland Heights, one of the country’s leading alcohol and drug treatment centers, in Nashville.
A former Fulbright scholar and Andrew W. Mellon Fellow, he has degrees in physics and music. He has counseled thousands of patients. He looks on the process of recovery in the A.A. workshop as learning to use the tools of recovery. He likens it to a boat. Nobody, he says, can control the seas. All can have total control over the boat. If the boat is strong enough, the tempest doesn’t matter.
He helps people “heal in the image of God.” Their task, he says is to understand the loving, merciful, forgiving God and establish a personal relationship with Him. He points to those who sometimes think God seems to have moved away and asks: “Who moved?”
He says he spent years seeking a mental solution to alcoholism. Then he became convinced there was no mental solution – only a spiritual solution. That solution is a daily job. Much as the First Century Christians, following the teachings of Jesus, fellowshipped together daily, prayed together daily, visited each other in the Temple and the homes daily, heard the Word of God daily, broke bread together daily, witnessed together daily, and converted thousands to God in the process of doing so.
Dr. Himes is a speaker worth hearing. May you enjoy and savor his talk.