Competing or Compatible?
This 150-page book offers a unique and much-needed approach to typical addiction-recovery literature.
After a brief personal summary of his involvement with drinking, drugs, and subsequent leadership within Alcoholics Anonymous, David Simmons traces the roots of AA philosophy, noting carefully where co-founders “Dr. Bob” Smith and “Bill” Wilson gleaned their ideas. The author documents that these teachings were in fact derived from a wide spectrum of both religious and psychological sources – the latter including William James, Harry Emerson Fosdick, and Carl Jung.
Appealing uncompromisingly to the authority of the Christian scripture, the book squarely faces ultimate questions of God’s (and human) nature, the problem of evil, and addiction’s final cure. In the process it exposes AA’s flawed confidence that human beings are basically good and fully able, by self-effort, to prepare themselves to receive “saving grace.” Citing abundant evidence, it substantiates AA’s “broad way” – which tends to treat mere sobriety as the summation of all virtues, re-defines sin as “mistakes” made by unlucky victims of circumstance, and portrays a one-dimensional god who only and always acts in loving forgiveness. Thus weighed in the balance of biblical revelation, Simmons finds the needle on the scale pointing unquestionably to “another gospel.”
The twelve chapters are much enriched by bumper-quotes from the likes of Martin Luther, Thomas Watson, Jonathan Edwards, C.H. Spurgeon, J.C. Ryle, and John MacArthur. Jimmy Junior
The author of this book took his personal experiences and the word of God and displayed nothing but the Truth according to the Word of God. Everything that He shared was confirmation to why I have never subscribed to any 12 step programs after 17 years of drug addiction. His approach is outstanding and I recommend that all who have attended or still are attending the 12 program to get this book.
This book is undoubtedly thought provoking, especially for anyone who has personally experienced addiction, or knows someone who is. With the rise of addiction in the world, this topic is extremely important. This book is written fairly, and allows the reader to decide for themselves. The author does not condemn nor place judgment on the reader, and writes in an honest, loving manner. The genuine attitude of the author ought to be well received.
The book does not necessarily have the presupposition of the authority of the Bible in the reader, either. In fact, David briefly offers a case for the authority of the Bible, in a simple, logical, manner, followed by a clear gospel presentation. Any logic and absolute truths found in this book are derived from the Bible, and are airtight. As a Christian and former drug addict in years past, I found this book helpful. During my years in recovery, I always knew that my time in AA was short. After beginning the process of AA separation, I dabbled in meetings from time to time.
Finally, some points from this book were instrumental in helping me make the final decision to separate from 12-step recovery, due to a desire not to endorse "another gospel."
Everyone dies in the end. While saving lives via 12 step recovery is a noble cause, saving souls takes a much higher priority. I believe this book is a push for that very priority.
The Lord Jesus Christ receives all the glory.