The Raven Saint Discussion Questions: by Marylu Tyndall


1. In today’s Christian culture, there is prevalent belief that if you’re a good Christian, love God with all your heart, and serve Him faithfully, God will bless you and nothing terrible will happen to you and your family. Many of those who preach this theology have Scriptures to back up their beliefs. What is your opinion of this doctrine? Does the Bible contain verses which could be used to prove both sides of this doctrine? How do you rectify the seeming discrepancies in Scripture and in people’s lives?




2. Grace Westcott typifies many Christians in our western culture who were born and raised in a church environment and who know all the right Scriptures and have never committed any obvious major sins. Would you describe yourself in those terms, or have you met other people like this? How do they come across to others, particularly to those who have led a more sinful life? What was Grace’s major flaw?  What does the Bible have to say about this particular sin?




3. What was the hero, Rafe’s, main complaint against religion? Why did he turn his back on God?  Do you know people like Rafe, who have turned away from God because of the example of certain people? Have you ever met someone whose hypocrisy could have done the same to you?




4. Have you ever met a man who grew up without receiving his father’s approval, his father’s praise and affirmation, or perhaps a man whose father emotionally and verbally abused him? If so, can you describe his emotional state, his goals, his temperament? What sorts of things did he aspire to? What things made him angry, sad?  Can you see any of these qualities in Rafe Dubois?




5. Grace’s heart was often in the right place. She loved God and didn’t want anyone to end up in hell. Yet she rarely had any success in her evangelistic efforts. Why?




6. Why was Father Alers running away from God? Have you known people who have made the same excuse? What brought him back?




7. What was Justus Thorn’s one goal in life, and how does it tie into his first name? Do you think he had a valid reason for his anger?  What did he learn about revenge? And how did he learn this important lesson?




8. What was Claire Dubois’s goal in life?  What caused this desire within her? Can you understand this need? What decision in the past did this need drive her to make that she later regretted? Can you think of anything similar in your own life—some decision you made based on a human need that later caused you pain? What should Claire have done instead?




9. What two things did Annette and Mr. Thorn have in common? Did Annette’s plan work out? Why? Why were they good for each other? What needs did they fill for the other one?




10. Do you believe there are demonic forces that can make a person sick? Can you find scriptures in the Bible that are similar to what Grace was able to do to deliver Claire?




11. Throughout the story, Grace believed that God had some important task for her to complete before He would bring her home safely. What did that task end up being? And can you name the things that happened to her along the way that brought about this change?




12. Did you enjoy Spyglass in the story? What role did she play? Can you think of a spiritual entity she may be an allegory for?




13.What ultimately changed Rafe’s mind about selling Grace?  Despite her shortcomings, what were the qualities he most admired in Grace? How did those compare with Claire? Have you ever been betrayed by someone? What was your first reaction? What caused Rafe to decide to trust Grace in the end?







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