What is the Oxford Group?

By: Lakeview Health Staff
Published: November 14, 2012

The Oxford Group – Principles of Christian Rehab

The Oxford Group is an evangelical Bible study that men attend to hear God’s word and learn how to live Godly lives. It was founded by Dr. Frank Buchman, a Lutheran minister, in 1931. Buchman’s main focus was to promote peace and reconciliation through a relationship with Jesus Christ. A relationship with God, rather than religious works, was the foundation for Oxford Group principles. Buchman founded this group after his own spiritual conversion. He heard a female speaker talking about the cross of Christ, felt the urgency to surrender to the will of God and wrote a letter to a colleague asking for forgiveness from a past argument. Next, he went to Oxford University and formed an evangelical group for athletes and student leaders. God revealed himself to Buchman in a way that allowed him to understand the need for God’s grace and an emotional relationship with God to move forward in life. This later became the foundational premise for Alcoholics Anonymous.

Oxford Principles: The Four Absolutes

Buchman was a follower of Christ and wanted to communicate how much God could restore a soul from the depths of despair. Recognition that God is ultimately the One in control of all things, including our lives, helps with the process of change. Buchman also noted that in order to experience true change, one must have a relationship with God. Selfishness and fear are the main sources that put a barrier between men and God. The Oxford Group is founded upon the 4 absolutes: Love, purity, honesty and unselfishness. These 4 absolutes are Christian principles for healthy living that help us to become more acquainted with God. The Life Recovery Bible contains some Bible verses related to recovery which help us understand these absolutes:

  1. Love – 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 “Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful and endures through every circumstance.”
  2. Purity – Psalm 51:10 “Create in me a clean heart, O God. Renew a loyal spirit within me.”
  3. Honesty – Proverbs 10:9 “People with integrity walk safely, but those who follow crooked paths will slip and fall.”
  4. Unselfishness – Galatians 5:24 “Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there.”

There are many more verses regarding these 4 absolutes that can be found in the Life Recovery Bible. Alcoholics Anonymous expands on these principles further, making the connection between spiritual practices, change and belief in God. Want to receive a lasting Christian recovery from addiction?

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