Addiction (generic, all-inclusive) is considered to be a three-fold condition which attacks its sufferers physically, mentally and spiritually. One cannot treat only one or two of these facets and claim tangible success. Recovery, like active addiction, is an all-or-nothing process.
Many enter into 12-step recovery, severely spiritually broken. Countless are those who wanted nothing to do with religion, or any whiff of reliance upon a deity. The rejection of specific idealized dogma, in favor of making 12-step recovery seem more possible to non-Christians, was the basis for these crucial debates on the spiritual language of the Big Book.
To better understand the initial impact of the Alcoholics Anonymous (program) text's earlier editions, it's important to note that the fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous was a descendant of the Oxford Group.