Oxford Group

The Oxford Group

Christian fellowship founded by Frank Buchman

Believed the root of all problems are the personal problems of fear and selfishness

Solution: surrender one’s life to God’s plan

Frank Buchman was converted in Keswick, England in 1908 by the preaching of Jesse Penn-Lewis

13 years later Buchman founded the, “First Century Christian Fellowship” (1921)

By 1931 it was known as the Oxford Group

The 1930’s were significant years

1932 Archbishop of Canterbury said, “this is a gift which the church is in need of.”

1934 Archbishop of York said, “Oxford groups are being used to demonstrate the power of God and change lives.”

How God Can Lead People (the way Oxford Group was described)

Oxford group seeks to be living Christianity

Builds on accomplished work of Jesus Christ

For problems to be solved, personal problems of selfishness and fear must be solved, lives must be changed

Peace in the world comes from peace in the hearts of men and women

The Holy Spirit is the answer

The secret is God-control

This is the aim of the Oxford Group

God-controlled people make God-controlled nations 

The true patriot gives his life to bring his nation under God’s control

Everybody can listen to God

You can listen to God, I can listen to God, everybody can listen to God

It was not a religion

No hierarchy, no temples (buildings), no endowments

Workers have no salary, no plans but God’s plan

One could not belong to the Oxford Group for it had no membership list or definite location

Simply group of people from all walks of life who have surrendered their life to God

Endeavor was to live a life under God’s guidance (Holy Spirit) and to carry the message so others could do the same

A movement unhampered by institutional ties

Combined social activities with evangelism

No organized board of officers

Declared itself not an “organization” but an “organism”

Though Frank Buchman was founder and leader, group members believed leader to be the Holy Spirit and relied on God-control: guidance received from God (Holy Spirit) by those people who have fully surrendered to God’s will

By working within all churches regardless of denomination, they drew new members

Newspaper account in 1933 described it as personal evangelism

One man talking to another or one woman sharing with another

1936 group was described as having no membership, no dues, no paid leaders, no theological creed, no regular meetings, simply a fellowship of people who desire to follow a way of life

Not a denomination but a determination

The Four Absolutes

Guidelnes to determine God’s will

Absolute honesty
Absolute purity
Absolute unselfshness
Absolute love

4 Absolutes first appeared in book by Robert Elliot Speer entitled, “The Principles of Jesus.”

Frank Buchman was influenced by F. B. Meyer who when visiting the college asked Buchman, “Do you let the Holy Spirit guide you in all you are doing?”

Buchman replied that he did indeed pray and read the Bible in the morning.

“But,” persisted Meyer, “do you give God enough uninterrupted time really to tell you what to do?”



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