12 Step Groups May Help Us Escape the Bible | thebereancall.org

TBC Staff

Brian McLaren:12 Step groups may help us escape Bible [Excerpts]

In his book, A New Kind of Christianity, Emergent leader Brian McLaren attacks Biblical understanding, and tries to revise both God and the Bible. In his chapter on reinterpreting God’s Word, he  notes, “Even for those of us on this quest, breaking out of centuries-old habits won’t be easy…”[1] In the same paragraph, McLaren makes an interesting statement. “No wonder those of us who want and need to change our approach may need to form twelve-step groups to deprogram our thinking.”[2]

Wait a minute. 12 Steps groups to help people reject the Bible as the literal Word of God?

Is this shocking? Hardly. McLaren knows this has already happened–and is continuing to happen–through both Christian and cultural acceptance of 12 Step spirituality. Unlike numerous Bible-believing pastors who allow 12 Step groups to meet in their churches, the Emergent leaders are clearly aware of what AA and other 12 Step groups have brought about.

McLaren wrote the foreword to A Heretic’s Guide To Eternity. In this book, Emergent authors Spencer Burke and Barry Taylor write, “As Phyllis Tickle [another Emergent leader] has noted, the development of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) probably did as much as other, more celebrated events to undermine our concept of religion. Emerging in the late 1930s, AA made it acceptable to talk about a generic God–a ‘higher power.’”[3]

Burke and Taylor further note what has resulted from this: “Consequently, a generation of people began speaking about God in new ways not previously sanctioned by the consensual illusion–and traditional religious perspectives began to change as a result.”[4]

Due to acceptance of the chameleon nature of AA’s “higher power,” our culture has been put at ease with custom-made gods and even with blended belief systems. Undeniably, Biblical Christianity has been greatly weakened.  

This has always been the objective of the spiritual forces that created AA.[5] (Ephesians:6:12).


  1. Brian McLaren, A New Kind of Christianity, pg.85-86
  2. Ibid., pg. 86
  3. Spencer Burke and Barry Taylor, A Heretics Guide To Eternity, pg. 34-35, foreword by Brian McClaren.
  4. Ibid.