Thursday, February 10, 2011



By Sandi Rog

 NOTE: If you haven't read THE MASTER'S WALL, the following will contain spoilers!

1)    What makes young David a hero in the first chapter? What does that say about his character?

When David was taken and enslaved, was there anything that surprised you or worried you during this transition in his life? What do you think will come of little Sarah?

When David and Alethea first meet, what was your favorite part about their first encounter (if you had one)?

2)    When children are abused or faced with adult situations, it forces them to grow up faster than they should (sadly, some of us know this from experience). David and Alethea are quite young in this story. How do you think you would have responded to these situations if you were either one of them? What are your impressions of David and Alethea’s responses to what’s happened to them? What reaction(s) touched you the most?

As they become friends, what was your favorite scene displaying their friendship (please warn for spoilers)? Why?

3)    Do you think Titus teaching David how to fight is a good thing? How does David hope to use his new skills? What’s David’s greatest weakness? Do you think learning to fight can be a stumbling block to David or a benefit? How?

What are your impressions of David’s relationship with Titus. What do you think Titus wants from David?

SPOILER: Titus has to do things he doesn't want to. Are there examples of silent rebellion to those orders by showing compassion? (Tied Alethea's dad lightly, had David flogged the first time by Lucius.) Are these signs of his possible redemption?

4)    When David tries to escape, but changes his mind, how did you feel about that? Do you think he should have stayed or escaped? What would you have done/felt if you were in his situation? Are there any situations in your life now that might evoke similar emotions? How do you think God wishes you to deal with them? Who did David put above himself in his situation?

5)    What makes the setting of this book unique to other books in this time period, what makes it similar? What are some similarities you see in ancient Roman culture to our culture today? What are some of the differences of ancient Roman culture compared to our culture today?

6)    When David teaches Alethea how to pray, what touches you the most about Alethea’s private prayer? Is there anything we can learn from Alethea’s prayer life?

David and Alethea often meet in secret in the woods. What was your favorite meeting? Why? How did it touch you? (Leave a warning for spoilers.)

Sometimes Alethea’s impressions of Christianity and God are shocking. What took you the most by surprise? (Again, leave warning for spoilers.)

7)    SPOILER: How did God use Alethea’s betrayal and David’s banishment for good in the story?

Hint: What did David do for the Lord while serving in the vineyards? What did Alethea’s lie make her realize about herself?

Are there similar situations in your own life where you can see God using a bad situation for good?

8)    How does Alethea's name play a pivotal role in the book? Explore the irony.

David struggles to forgive Alethea. Why? Have you ever faced a similar struggle?

9)    When Alethea tells David she believes in his God but is not a Christian, what were your thoughts? What did you think of David’s response? What verse was David referring to? Based on this verse, do you think it’s possible to believe in God but not be saved?

In Matthew 7:15-29, it talks about how people will cast out demons and perform miracles in Jesus’ name, and in the end, Jesus will say to them, He never knew them. Just below that, we read the old familiar verses about building our house on the rock.

After reading to the end of Matthew 7, go back up to verses 15-20 where it talks about knowing others by their “fruits.” I always thought “fruits” were “good works,” but right after verse 20, it talks about amazing GOOD works for the Lord, and yet Jesus says he won’t know them, and even accuses them of practicing lawlessness! It baffled me for many years.

Then I read further down. Based on verses 24 and 26 we must “act” on Jesus’ words. My understanding of “acting on Jesus’ words” is “obedience.” Apparently, we can still be performing “good works” for Jesus but still be acting in disobedience. John 15 wraps everything up in a perfect package, explaining it ALL, and Jesus makes it very clear in verse 10. Therefore our “fruits” are our “obedience,” and NOT our “good works.” Of course, “good works” will naturally come with acting obediently.

Now for my QUESTION: Alethea believed, but what more did she need in her life?

Key verses for answers: 24 and 26 in Matt. 7 contrast these two thoughts, and John 15:10 (not to mention Christ’s repetition of this in John 14:15,21,23-24, and Christ’s own example to us in verse 31).

In the end, what did Alethea do to demonstrate her obedience?

10) Some characters in the story allude to other characters or events. Who do you think David represents? Why? How does this touch you? Who do you think Alethea represents? Why? How does this touch you?

11) What motivates Aloysius and Demetri? How does that affect their decisions and actions? (greed, power, control, property = abuse of those who stand in their way)

Being twisted inside by jealousy, Demetri learns Alethea intends to marry someone named David, and years later still burns with internal rage over that information, to the point of arranging to have David publicly killed to celebrate his wedding to Alethea. How does jealousy warp logical decision-making?

12) Demetri displays good and bad behavior for a villain. At times he gives the impression that he cares for Alethea, sparing her of her grandfather’s abuse. Do you think all “bad people” are “ALL bad” or do some have redeemable qualities? Did you see any “bad” in the main characters? If so, what? Do you think if you were in their shoes/sandals, you would have made the same mistakes? What can we learn from their mistakes? What can this teach us about the “villains” in our own lives? Do you think it would have helped if David and Alethea had prayed for Demetri? What should they have prayed for specifically?

13) David sees himself as a slave and is treated by the world like one, when all along he's really an adopted son. Have you ever not lived according to the truth of who you are?

14) What was your favorite scene or “moment” in the story? What was your emotional response to that scene? What makes this your favorite?

The opening verse in the book quotes Jesus as saying, He came to bring a sword. What was the sword in THE MASTER’S WALL?

Is that sword of persecution present today? In what ways? Family, politics?

15) There are several verses quoted throughout THE MASTER’S WALL. Did any stand out to you, touch you? Can you name a few?

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