Three Dick B. Workshops
Recovery Grounded on A.A. History and Christian Fellowship Principles
“Your Heavenly Father will never let you down!”
A Program that Relies on God and Flourishes in Christian Fellowships
In 1939, Dr. Bob—cofounder of A.A.--ended his personal story in the Original 1939 Edition of Alcoholics Anonymous, as follows: “If you think you are an atheist, an agnostic, a skeptic, or have any form of intellectual pride which keeps you from accepting what is in this book, I feel sorry for you. . . . If you really and truly want to quit drinking liquor for good and all, and sincerely feel that you must have some help, we know we have an answer for you. It never fails . . . . Your Heavenly Father will never let you down!”
In his last major talk to AAs in 1948, Dr. Bob told AAs: “In the early days, , , our stories didn’t amount to anything to speak of. When we started in on Bill D. [A.A. Number Three]. We had no Twelve Steps, either; we had no Traditions. But we were convinced that the answer to our problems was in the Good Book. It wasn’t until 1938 that the teachings and efforts and studies that had been going on were crystallized in the form of the Twelve Steps. I didn’t write the Twelve Steps. I had nothing to do with the writing of them. . . . We already had the basic ideas though not in terse and tangible form. We got them, as I said, as a result of our study of the Good Book.
When Bill W., the other A.A. cofounder, published the Big Book in 1939, Bill defined the “Solution” as follows: “The great fact is just this, and nothing less. That we have had deep and effective spiritual experiences which have revolutionized our whole attitude toward our fellows and toward God’s universe. The central fact of our lives today is the absolute certainty that our Creator has entered into our hearts and lives in a way which is indeed miraculous. He has commenced to accomplish those things for us which we could never do by ourselves.”
Years later, in the Fourth Edition of Alcoholics Anonymous, at page 191, Bill explained the recovery message that had emerged from applying the basic, biblical ideas: “Henrietta [wife of A.A. Number Three], the Lord has been so wonderful to me, curing me of this terrible disease, that I just want to keep talking about it and telling people.”
We [Dick B. and Ken B.] believe what Bill’s Big Book said on page 60: (a) “That we were alcoholic and could not manage our own lives. (b) That probably no human power could have relieved our alcoholism. (c) That God could and would if he were sought.” We also believe, and will offer to you in these three workshops, proof that the credibility and effectiveness of the A.A. successes rest upon and can be enhanced today if three ingredients of the success are learned and applied.
First, that—for good and sufficient reason—early A.A. was frequently spoken of as “First Century Christianity” in action. Its pioneers called themselves a “Christian Fellowship.” To see what this means, a solid understanding of what the early Christians did and accomplished should rest upon the work of the Apostles in the Book of Acts. And that we will provide
Second, that the love and power and forgiveness of God were effectively applied to help alcoholics and addicts in and after the mid-1800’s, and that the principles of this healing work led directly from several Christian people and organizations to the Christian upbringing of A.A. cofounders Dr. Bob and Bill W. in Vermont. And then to the basic recovery ideas the early A.A. Christian Fellowship pioneers utilized to achieve their astonishing successes of the 1930’s.
Finally, the drift away from God, His Son Jesus Christ, and the Bible that has manifested itself in the recovery community today—particularly the 12-Step fellowships—can be arrested, reversed, and remedied with a good solid look at what the early AAs actually did; what they accomplished by relying on God; and how much their principles and practices are still very much a part of the “Conference-approved” literature flowing out of A.A. World Headquarters today.