top of page

Small Group Study Guide
for
Letters to Bentrock:

A Demon's Guide to Trapping Prey
By J. B. Cyprus

This study guide is intended for small groups that would like to use Letters to Bentrock as a starting point to discuss the temptations and pitfalls we encounter as Christians in the modern world. The reading plan assumes that participants will read roughly one letter each day (approximately six letters a week) over ten weeks. 

Following each letter, this guide includes a few questions to encourage personal reflection followed by relevant Scripture references for the reader. The weekly group discussion guide builds upon the book as well as the Scripture references.

 

It is my hope that this study will spur discussion and encourage readers to consider not just the temptations that beset us, but the salvation that awaits us if we keep our minds and hearts focused on the One who loves and saves us. 

ebook cover.jpg
logo-amazon.png
Study Guide
Study Guide Preview

Study Guide Preview

Money Matters

  1. Deumus finds it very amusing that people who are poor and always will be poor love money every bit as much as the wealthiest financier. Do you agree with Deumus when he says our belief that “anyone can become rich” has helped make the love of money more common? 

  2. In modern society, money and economics are nearly always at the center of public discourse. We get daily reports on stock markets, employment rates, and inflation rates. The world’s wealthiest people are often celebrities with millions of followers on social media. How does this cultural focus on money impact our relationship to wealth? 

  3. Deumus talks about the “crooked businessman stories” which reinforce the idea that everyone who is successful bends or breaks the rules. In Biblical terms we would say that these stories reinforce the idea that one must deliberately sin to be successful. Can you think of examples of these sorts of stories in television and movies and even on the news? Do you agree that the path to financial success usually requires making ethical compromises? 

  4. There is a strain of Christianity known as the “Prosperity Gospel” that emphasizes the idea that material and spiritual success go hand in hand. Do you agree? What risks does that sort of message pose?

  5. The letter ends with Deumus explaining to Bentrock that he needs to persuade his Inmate to believe that money is the one thing he can trust. Do you agree that this idea forms the foundation of the love of money?

Scripture: 1 Tim 3:9-10, Luke 16:19-31, Matt 6:19-24, Prov 18:10-11, James 5:1-6

Group Discussion - Week 6

Starter Questions: 

  1. Which of the letters stood out to you most this week? Were there any that spoke to you personally? Have you encountered a similar feeling of temptation?

  2. Any scripture references you would like to discuss? 

 

This section of the book begins with the Inmate rejected and beaten by his former gang brothers. Once he heals, the Inmate busies himself embracing his new life. Deumus and Bentrock shift tactics and begin a series of temptations designed draw him away from Christianity. 

 

In the Seeds of Doubt, we see the tempters preparing to plant doubts about the Inmate’s Christian faith and questions about how central the role of his faith should be in his life. 

  1. While Deumus does not describe each of the six strategies in detail, what are your initial impressions of the sorts of strategies the tempters intend to deploy? When Deumus talks about discrediting Christianity, he clearly means more than questioning its truth. Can you think of ways the Faith might be discredited even in the minds of people who sincerely believe Jesus is Lord? 

  2. Deumus talks about two types of new converts to the faith. Do you see people who fit these types? Read Matthew 8:13-9 & 18-23. How does Deumus’ description strike you in light of Jesus’ parable? 

 

In The Spectator, Deumus mocks people who attend church hoping to see a good show and get a spiritual boost...

Study Guide Contents

Letters to Bentrock Study Guide
Table of Contents

INTRODUCTION

How To Use This Study Guide

WEEK ONE

Introduction & Sources and Methods

Welcome Bentrock

Midnight Intervention

The Seven Messages

Distraction

Stoke the Anxiety

GROUP DISCUSSION GUIDE - WEEK 1

 

WEEK TWO

The Nickname

Money Matters

The Letter Problem (Parts 1 & 2)

Respect

The Ape-Gods

GROUP DISCUSSION GUIDE - WEEK 2

 

WEEK THREE

The Danger of Despair

A Very Unfair World

Our Friend Anger

The Anger Mirage

Sexual Appetite

The Roach

GROUP DISCUSSION GUIDE - WEEK 3

 

WEEK FOUR

Getting Out

Imagining His Happy Future

Gang Life For Him

The Unemployment Line

Couch Jockeys And Corner Boys

Selfish Love

GROUP DISCUSSION GUIDE - WEEK 4

 

WEEK FIVE

The Volunteers Are Coming!

The Last Supper

There is Always Tomorrow

Tomorrow

Turning His Life Over

Get Him Off His Knees!

GROUP DISCUSSION GUIDE - WEEK 5

WEEK SIX

Blood Out

The Seeds of Doubt

The Spectator

The Awful Noise

Figure It Out Yourself

My Will Be Done

GROUP DISCUSSION GUIDE - WEEK 6

 

WEEK SEVEN

The Professor

The Hypocrites

Counterfeiters and the Long Con

For The Child

The Mosquito Syndrome

Dangerous Monotony

GROUP DISCUSSION GUIDE - WEEK 7

 

WEEK EIGHT

The Most Difficult Demand

The Magic Fishing Buddy

Family Visit

An Untimely Intervention

Jailhouse Conversion

Sentencing Deferred

GROUP DISCUSSION GUIDE - WEEK 8

 

WEEK NINE

The Parolee

Ungrateful Gratitude

Send Him To Church

Upside Down

Not Perfect, Just Forgiven

Counterattack

GROUP DISCUSSION GUIDE - WEEK 9

 

WEEK TEN

What Happened To The Wallpaper?

The Undesirables & The Only Desirables

As We Forgive Those

Memorandum From The Secretary

An Inmate’s Final Letter

GROUP DISCUSSION GUIDE - WEEK 10

 

CONCLUDING THOUGHTS

bottom of page