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The strength of Alcoholics Anonymous has not been so much in encouraging alcoholics to surrender to God, but to get them to practice a daily process of dying to self to make the surrender effective over time.
The church referred to this process as sanctification. Frank Buchman who was a pioneer in the group movement which led to the formation of AA, was directly influenced by developments in Christian theology that were at the heart of what is known as the Keswick Conferences. Steve Barabas speaks about the central unique feature of what was taught there.
“The place in the new Testament where the truth of the believer’s identification with Christ in His death and resurrection is most clearly set forth is the sixth chapter of Romans. It would not be possible, I think, to exaggerate the importance of this chapter for the doctrine of sanctification.* It has been called the Magna Charta of the soul and the Emancipation Proclamation of the Christian. Failure on the part of the child of God to realize that it is intensely practical and entirely applicable to our present circumstances, and that it is God’s answer to the whole problem of sinful human nature, means failure at the very first step of the Christian life and walk. Keswick sees this, and very rightly puts great stress upon it. It is hardly possible to over-emphasize it.”
This it theme of Chapter 12 of Absolutely Sober which we will talk about on our show today.
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