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Discussion Questions for Whitewashed

FC---Whitewashed (3)

  1. Have you ever made plans you refused to give up even when it became clear they were not what God wanted for you? What were the consequences?
  2. Can you pinpoint problems in your life/your family that are a direct result of the sins of your (or your family’s) past?
  3. As Patience learned, truth and mercy go hand-in-hand to make the way to forgiveness (Proverbs 16:6). Have you ever erred on the side of speaking the truth without mercy? Or on the side of showing mercy to the neglect of the truth? What were the consequences?
  4. Have you ever wondered, like Patience, if the people you loved were lying to you? How did you react? How should you react?
  5. Patience is totally impatient and plowed ahead with things when she, at times, shouldn’t. Would you categorize yourself as a patient or impatient person? Think of a time when you acted with impatience. What did your impatience get you? Think of a time when you acted with patience instead. What was the result of your patient attitude?
  6. Responsibility is a minor theme in the book illustrated through the two dogs in Whitewashed. Compare and contrast Honor’s dachshund Chigger with Poppa’s coon dog Keynes. What do the two dogs show you about their masters’ views on responsibility?
  7. The biblical story of Esther is interwoven throughout the plot. What does Patience learn from Esther? Compare/contrast the two women.
  8. The book’s title, Whitewashed, has reference to Jesus’ indictment against the scribes and Pharisees in Matthew 23:27 when he calls them whitewashed tombs. How does that label play out in the novel?
  9. Does Patience ever live up to her name? If so, when? When have you had trouble living up to your name (or calling)?
  10. What do you know about the Underground Railway movement? How would you feel being historical Simon, Peter, Abe, or Sadie? If you are a mother, can you imagine being in Hannah or Eve’s shoes?
  11. What are the implications of the Underground Railway movement for human trafficking today?
  12. I implied in Whitewashed that Hannah and Eve poisoned both Simon’s grandfather and uncle because of the way they devoured innocence. Do you think the women were justified in their actions? Why or why not?
  13. Racism is a sin of our nation, including the church. How can you, as a Christian, repent of that national/church sin? What ways can you root seeds of racism from your own heart?
  14. Vengeance is a big issue in the book. The Bible states in Romans 12:19 that vengeance belongs to the LORD. In what way did the Vengeance character misuse that verse? What in the person’s past led to that behavior?
  15. Are there sins/crimes a professing Christian would never commit? Consider the Vengeance character.
  16. In college life today, the emphasis on academics versus athletics is often glaringly unbalanced. Do you think that’s a problem? Why or why not? Why did the Vengeance character have such a problem with it?
  17. Have you (or anybody you know) ever embraced darkness as Lily Rose did, i.e. struck rose and manacle tattoos, countless piercings, goth makeup, abusive boyfriend, disdain of school, family, church, etc.? Why did Lily Rose behave as she did? How should Christians respond to people like her?
  18. Have you ever known anyone caught in the agonies of Alzheimer’s? If the person was a Christian, you may have noticed a marked calm when the Bible was read and/or hymns were sung. Why do you think that is?