The Emmet Fox Myths Regularly Promulgated by A Few Against A.A
Copyright 2012 Anonymous. All rights reserved
First, when someone asks about a supposed New Thought foundation for A.A. and tosses aside the very clear basic ideas A.A. took from its studies and efforts in the Bible, I often like to point out these two truths:
(1) Emmet Fox did not deliver the Sermon on the Mount. Jesus did! See Matt. 5-7.
(2) Emmet Fox rejected the idea of “born again” and salvation. Jesus made these available. Early AAs in Akron required acceptance of Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.
Here is a relevant quote (with some new additions) from one of my articles:
Number Fifteen: New Thought. Also beginning to take wing through the impetus of Christian Science and similar movements that started to flower at almost the same period as the first two sources [of A.A.] But the New Thought focus was on a new kind of god—a higher power—that took descriptive words from the Bible but saw God, good, and evil in non-salvation terms. New Thought words and phrases like higher power, cosmic consciousness, fourth dimension, and Universal Mind filtered in to the A.A. stream. Even the “Christ in you-Christ in everybody” nonsense that still floats in recovery circles.The New Thought expositors included Mary Baker Eddy, Waldo Trine, William James, Emmanuel Movement writers, and Emmet Fox. See The Books Early AAs Read for Spiritual Growth, 7th ed; When Early AAs Were Cured and Why; Dr. Bob and His Library; Good Morning: Quiet Time, Morning Watch, Meditation, and Early A.A.; God and Alcoholism. See for further relative research, see New Wine, written by an advocate for New Thought among his A.A. friends.
[Source for the quote above: “A.A.’s Fifteen Major Well-Springs” by Dick B. Copyright 2007 Anonymous. All rights reserved: http://dickb.com/15wellsprings.shtml%5D.
Fox’s book, along with many others, was widely read by a few early AAs. So too were the books of Oswald Chambers, Nora Smith Holm, E. Stanley Jones, Thomas a’Kempis, Leslie D. Weatherhead, Samuel M. Shoemaker, Jr., Harold Begbie, Brother Lawrence, Ebenezer MacMillan, Sherwood Day, Julian P. Thornton-Duesbury, B. H. Streeter, Cecil Rose, Hallen Viney, Howard J. Rose, Jack Winslow, Upper Room, Robert E. Speer, Charles Sheldon, Rev. James Stalker, T.R. Glover, Geoffrey Allen, The Fathers of the Church, Henry Drummond, Toyohiko Kagawa, Glenn Clark, Mary Baker Eddy, James Moore Hickson, Ethel R. Willitts, Star Daily, Mary W. Tileston, and the Holy Bible, were all widely circulated, read, and quoted. I suggest you familiarize yourself with them. Go, if you like, to Dr. Bob’s Home in Akron, to the Dr. Bob Core Library in Vermont, to the Wilson House in Vermont, to Brown University, to the Shoemaker Room at Calvary Episcopal Church in Pittsburgh. Viewed as a whole, you can see the foregoing books early AAs read, and many many others. But cherry picking this or that author or book and labeling it as representative of the Christian faiths, denominations, creeds, and beliefs of early AAs is just another path to the myths now being manufactured by some who are violently opposed to A.A. I also suggest you read page 13 of The Co-Founders of Alcoholics Anonymous pamphlet with your sponsees:
“But we were convinced that the answer to our problems was in the Good Book. To some of us older ones, the parts that we found absolutely essential were the Sermon on the Mount, the thirteenth chapter of First Corinthians, and the Book of James.”
There is no mention there of some particular book—only of three essential parts of the Bible the pioneers studied with regularity.
The “Sermon on the Mount” (Matthew 5-7) was, of course, given by Jesus, not by Emmet Fox. I suggest you encourage your sponsees to read the “real thing” to which Dr. Bob was referring rather than a watered-down version peppered with the New Thought, anti-salvation positions and declarations, and personal opinions of one man.
Also, I hope you have your group or fellowship purchase many (!–even 500) copies of The Co-Founders of Alcoholics Anonymous pamphlet (Item # P-53) from A.A. and that your are giving and will continue to give a copy to every person who walks through the doors of your meeting, group, and fellowship. It is also a great tool to give to ministers, recovery pastors, sponsors and speakers. That plus The Good Book and the Big Book: A.A.’s Roots in the Bible by Dick B. have been really blessing people throughout the U.S. and in other countries such as Canada.