From a CNN interview with Philip Yancey, promoting his new book, “What Good Is God?”
CNN: What can churches learn from AA?
Yancey: Two lessons stand out sharply to me: radical honesty and radical dependence.
Alcoholics Anonymous members can spot a fraud, hypocrite, or liar the minute he or she walks in the door. They know the only path to healing begins with a frank self-assessment of failure.
When we go to church we like to look good and gain the respect of others. A married couple may fight all the way to church, but when they pull into the parking lot they’re all smiles, “We’re just fine, Mrs. Jones, how about you?” You’d never get away with that at AA.
AA also forces each person to admit their dependence on God (or at least a Higher Power) and on each other. Most AA members freely admit they could never make it on their own. People of faith believe that, too, yet how many of us practice it as passionately as those in a twelve-step group?