Discussion Guide

Some of you have requested it, so here it is!  (If you haven’t yet read the book, don’t read these questions until you have done so.  Consider this your “spoiler alert!”)

 

For small groups, book clubs, or personal consideration, please feel free to draw from this list of questions as you discuss or reflect on truths and lessons in The Crimson Purpose as they may apply to you or your circumstances.  As always, I appreciate any feedback, so if you have any recommendations regarding amendments or additional questions, let me know!  God bless!

 

 

1.  At the beginning of the book, Dan and Casey seem like a fairly typical teenage dating couple. If you were in Casey’s place, do you believe you would have discerned Dan’s true character early on? What obstacles or forms of bondage prevented Casey from doing so?       

 

2.  Professor Ponde is a “devout atheist.”  Such is the claim of many in higher levels of academia. How did Casey refute the professor’s admonitions and dismissive mindset?  Was Casey especially eloquent in her rebuttals, or would there need to be a higher element at work in order to stir consideration of God?  Of course this story is a work of fiction, but can you imagine it happening in real life?  If so, how much of being a witness—a light—is contingent upon our abilities, and how much depends upon mere willingness to be used. As a follow-up, does God’s sovereignty negate a responsibility on our part to be ready to be vessel?  

 

3.  There were several moments in the story when it seemed that Casey had truly repented of her handling of things regarding her relationship with Dan, only to find that she was succumbing to those same types of bondage a few pages later.  Did this make Casey unusually pathetic as a character, or did it make her more real and easier with whom to identify?  Do you ever find yourself being reminded of the same biblical truths over and over again, before you truly begin to embrace those truths?

 

4.  Christian guilt is a very real form of bondage.  Many believers are so afraid of projecting a lack of forgiveness and understanding that they misapply God’s admonitions regarding those same attributes.  Can you think of or find any verses or passages of Scripture which address this issue?  What do you think is the correct response to a person who has sinned against you and asked forgiveness?  And, does this response necessitate that you turn a blind eye to existing or possible implications?

 

5.  Garrett is a young and wealthy single man embarking upon a promising career. He seems to have everything going for him, and yet he is bereft of peace.  He feels somehow abandoned by his step-father’s side of the family, and the emptiness adds to the already existent void in his life.  Have you ever been at a place in your life when you, like Garrett, relied on your own efforts to fill that void?  If you are a believer, what triggered the change for you?  If you are not a believer, can you currently identify with Garrett and his efforts?

 

6.  Jacklyn is a young woman who wants everything her way, and wants no convicting souls around her to mar her plans.  She comes across as selfish at times, but is she really any different than many of us when it comes to wanting to avoid conviction?  She doesn’t know Christ, so is it any wonder that any drawings toward Christ would be met with resistance, especially considering that things are going so well for her, overall?  How can we as believers reach the Jacklyns of our world?

 

7.  Walter and Pearl Rivadell are prayer warriors.  What lessons can we learn from them?  What lessons can we learn from older saints in our congregations?

 

8.  Zeke is the friend Casey needs at a critical time in her life, but, for a long time, Zeke is not a believer.  Can God use unbelievers to minister to His children?  Have you ever seen this happen?  And, if so, did the circumstance, in turn, serve to witness to or draw the unbeliever to a consideration of Christ?  What does this teach us about God’s sovereignty?

 

9.  When Casey is being assaulted in the cave, she feels helpless and frightened, but she also feels ashamed and guilty.  She determines to keep Dan’s treatment of her a closely guarded secret, certain that everything will work out in time.  This feeling of self-blame is a common one among victims of abuse.  Have you ever felt guilt for something which was not your fault?  Have you given that false guilt to God and allowed Him to heal you as only He can?  If you are currently living under this kind of bondage, please understand that your circumstances are not your fault, and there is no shame in seeking help.  Find a trusted minister, friend, or agency, and begin the journey to physical and spiritual healing.  If the offender is a loved one, then initiate their journey toward possible rehabilitation.  It will not be an easy step, but it is a vital one. If your situation happened in your past and you are still dealing with the repercussions, know that through God true healing can be found.  There are Christian counselors and ministers available to facilitate your recovery.

 

10.  The soon to be doctor, Glenn Gracyn, feels helpless in his efforts to get through to Casey.  Have you ever sensed that your efforts in reaching out to another were in vain?  Have you ever wondered whether God would truly use and answer your prayers?  Did you need proof of His answering of your petitions, or was it enough to simply believe that He heard?  Do you suppose that Glenn forgot all about Casey and her struggles the moment she left his care, or do you imagine that she became a part of his prayer life?  If you were in Glenn’s shoes, how would you have behaved?

 

11.  John and Lorraine love their daughters very much.  Their eldest daughter, Julie, is a single mother as a result of defying God’s boundaries regarding sexual purity, but is now living as a growing believer. Casey seems to be struggling with some intensely personal issues, but she too is a believer.  What lessons can we take from John and Lorraine’s lives; from their responses to their daughters’ failings; from their possible consideration that maybe, just maybe, they’ve missed something along the way—something which led to their daughters’ poor choices or struggles?  What promises can we glean from exposure to the lives of this fictitious family?  Can you identify with any of these family members?

 

12.  Casey had a church home both in Missouri and in Massachusetts.  How important is it to be a part of a well-grounded church?  Why or why not?  What does God say about this issue?

 

13.  Dan is confronted time and again with choices, and he consistently chooses that which be believes best serves himself and is rebellious toward God.  Is there any hope for such a person?  Is Casey wrong to hope for Dan’s repentance?

 

14.  The book ends with a realization by Casey that God does not want Dan to be a part of her future.  She also realizes the importance of pure forgiveness.  Given Casey’s history, do you believe that, if she were a real person, the struggles are over?  Why or why not?  In your life, do you feel that you are exactly where God wants you to be, or is God is constantly working to perfect you through trials and exposure of impurities?  If it is the latter, is the process something of which to be ashamed, or something to celebrate?  If Casey has indeed been freed from false Christian guilt and bondage resulting from emotional and physical abuse, then is it possible that other forms of bondage will eventually show themselves?  If so, is this judgment or mercy?  

 

15.  The book begins with Romans 8:28, which says, “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose.”  What does this verse mean to you?  Was your understanding of this verse expanded as a result of reading this book?  If so, in what ways?  Is God truly able to work all things—even the most painful parts—together for the good of His children?  Is anything wasted with God?

 

 

 

 

 

 

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