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Mending the Soul -- Understanding and Healing Abuse
by Steven R. Tracy
 © 2008 (Zondervan: Grand Rapids, MI)  All rights reserved [255 pages].
[Answer 17 of 25 questions correctly to receive
15 hours of continuing education credit.]
NOTE: Please visit the author's website at

Chapter 1: A Wake-Up Call Regarding the Extent and Power of Abuse (p. 11-21)
1. Which is NOT true about abuse?
a. Most Christian leaders are well aware of the extent of abuse in their Christian communities.
b. In the Bible, even some religious leaders and mature believers committed abuse.
c. Satan is real and uses abuse to try to destroy individuals physically, emotionally, relationally, and spiritually.
d. Although no one can offer a fully satisfactory answer for why God allows evil and suffering, God is deeply moved by human suffering, He is sovereign over evil, and He seeks to bring healing and restoration out of every act of abuse.

Chapter 2: Abuse as a Perversion of the Image of God (p. 22-37)
2. Most adolescents who are self-mutilators (cutting themselves) do so because
a. one or both parents are alcoholics.
b. they have been sexually abused.
c. they are low achievers.
d. their friends are cutters.

3. When Christy finally told her senior pastor that the youth pastor had engaged in a sexualized relationship with her over an extended period of time, the senior pastor tore up her documentation into tiny pieces and told her that the Bible teaches us to forgive others. The senior pastor’s response would be accurately described as
a. sexual abuse, making him a silent partner to the youth pastor’s abuse.
b. neglect abuse, ignoring Christy’s account of what really happened.
c. spiritual abuse, misusing his spiritual authority to deny the damage being done to Christy.
d. verbal abuse, essentially calling Christy a liar by disregarding her story.

Chapter 3: Profiles of Abusers (p. 38-53)
4. The “banality of evil” was a phrase coined to describe the quite ordinary and commonplace appearance of Adolph Eichmann, who helped orchestrate the murders of 6 million Jews in Nazi death camps. It is used by the author because “evil doesn’t look like evil”: abusers cannot be predicted by race, occupation, demeanor, education level, or facial features. However, there are some identifiable behaviors that are characteristic of abusers.
For example, when a husband says that he beat his wife because he had lost control due to alcohol or because she provoked him verbally, he is exhibiting the characteristic of
a. denial of responsibility.
b. bold deceitfulness.
c. harsh judgmentalism.
d. calculated intimidation.

5. Which is NOT true about adult child molesters?
a. Eighty to ninety percent of adult child molesters are male.
b. Most child molesters were themselves sexually abused as children.
c. Child molesters are rarely caught.
d. The majority of sex-offenders had fathers who were cold, distant, hostile, and aggressive. They had conflicted relationships with their mothers. They experienced higher rates of physical abuse.

6. All of the following are true about pedophiles EXCEPT
a. Most pedophiles first began molesting children when they themselves were adolescents.
b. Many experts believe that pedophiles cannot be cured because their sexual proclivity toward children is often the most resistant to treatment.
c. Pedophiles relate much better to children than to adults.
d. Most pedophiles use physical force with their victims.

Chapter 4: Portrait of an Abusive Family (p. 54-70)
7. Which of the following is NOT a characteristic of abusive families?
a. Victims of abuse are treated as expendable, not valuable, in abusive families. Rather than being protected they are used to meet the sordid needs of abusers.
b. Communication is unhealthy in abusive families. It is often ambiguous, deceptive, dishonest, demeaning, and destructive.
c. Reasonable arguments will often persuade abusers to stop their abuse, especially logical Biblical arguments.
d. Abusers are emotionally unstable. They can show love and kindness, and then switch to abuse and rage.

8. Why does most abuse go undetected?
a. Families in which abuse is taking place don’t “look abusive” from their outward appearance. Therefore, abuse is difficult to notice.
b. Most victims of abuse are afraid to report it because of threats and intimidation from the abuser.
c. If abuse victims do report abuse, they are often in danger of not being believed or even ostracized for telling their stories.
d. All of the above.

Chapter 5: Shame (p. 73-91)
9. When parents abuse their children, why do the children wrongly blame themselves for the abuse?
a. Parental abuse produces toxic shame. Even if the children haven’t done anything morally wrong, they feel worthless and unforgivable.
b. Children need love and nurture so much they cannot conceive of their parents being bad or evil.
c. Children tend to believe that their parents say about them, even if its destructive.
d. All of the above.

10. Which is NOT an appropriate way to overcome destructive shame?
a. Abuse victims should only take responsibility for abuse they brought on themselves.
b. Abuse victims should base their worth on what God thinks about them, as revealed in the Bible, such as nothing can separate us from God’s love (Romans 8:38,39).
c. It is biblical to pray that our abusers will be filled with shame so that they may repent and that they’ll be punished and destroyed if they do not.
d. Reject shameful messages given by abusers.

Chapter 6: Powerlessness and Deadness (p. 92-108)
11. Adolescent girls who have been sexually violated may become highly promiscuous
a. because they tend to have fewer moral boundaries.
b. as a subconscious attempt to regain a sense of control over the very act that made them feel so powerless.
c. because the sexual abuse awakens their sexual desire.
d. because they hang around with the wrong crowd.

12. When an abuse survivor describes how, during the abuse, she felt as if she had left her body and was somewhere else, this experience is called
a. dissociation.
b. schizophrenia.
c. intrusion.
d. hyperarousal.

13. Of the following, which effect of trauma is CHOSEN by the victims of abuse?
a. having reoccurring nightmares.
b. experiencing panic attacks years after the abuse occurred.
c. amnesia.
d. deadening (numbing) themselves in response to their pain instead of turning to God for strength and healing.

Chapter 7: Isolation (p. 109-127)
14. In a large-scale study of incest victims, Diana Russell found that ___ of adult Catholic and Protestant incest victims had defected from their faith.
a. 16%
b. 26%
c. 36%
d. 56%

15. When Ingrid was driving in the car, she became enraged inside herself when her daughter picked up her hand and kissed it. Why?
a. Because her daughter was trying to manipulate Ingrid.
b. Because Ingrid’s own mother had never been affectionate with her.
c. Because Ingrid did not feel worthy of her daughter’s love. Instead, she felt shame.
d. Because the daughter had just been disciplined and was trying to regain favor with Ingrid.

Chapter 8: Facing the Brokenness (p. 131-156)
16. Which is NOT an attitude Christians should have about revisiting their painful past?
a. For the most part, Christians should “forget what lies behind” (Philippians 3:13).
b. Christians who face their own brokenness can then entrust themselves to God’s love and healing instead of relying upon their own damaging techniques, like numbing their emotions.
c. Revisiting the past allows Christians to stop blaming themselves for the abuse.
d. Reinterpreting past trauma helps Christians to set appropriate boundaries with friends and family members today.

17. Denying that an abusive event was really abusive is so common that abuse counselors are advised to ask a question such as
a. Did either of your parents abuse you in any way?
b. Were you ever molested as a child?
c. As a child, were you ever touched in such a way that made you feel uncomfortable?
d. Have you ever known someone that was sexually abused as a child?

18. When an abuse survivor is retelling her story of abuse, it is possible that at the time of the abuse, dissociation and emotional construction may have taken place so quickly and thoroughly that she may find it nearly impossible to identify the emotions she felt. What does the author say could help her identify what she truly felt at the time of the abuse?
a. She could picture a child at the same age she was when the abuse took place, and imagine what the child would feel if she experienced the same abuse.
b. She could visualize the abuser locked up in jail.
c. She could draw a picture of herself right after the abuse took place.
d. She could watch a movie of a girl who had been sexually abused.

19. The author’s wife, Celestia, counseled a thirty-year-old single professional woman who hated her femininity, and suppressed an effervescent and vivacious personality she had as a child. What had caused these changes?
a. Her father was an alcoholic.
b. her father wrongly humiliated and shamed her whenever she expressed herself.
c. Her father sexually abused her.
d. Her father was physically abusive.

20. The author speaks of an Old Testament book which teaches us how to mourn overwhelming losses and yet find hope in God. It was written by a prophet who witnessed the brutal Babylonians besiege Jerusalem, starve its inhabitants so that parents were reduced to eating their own children, tear down the city walls, demolish the temple, rape the women, publicly execute the civic leaders, and deport most of the remaining Jews to Mesopotamia. This is the book of
a. Job.
b. Jeremiah.
c. Lamentations.
d. Isaiah.

Chapter 9: Rebuilding Intimacy with God (p. 157-179)
21. Abuse survivors who believe in a good, loving God face agonizing struggles to understand why God allowed their abuse, why He did not intervene, and why in His justice He did not annihilate their evil abusers. Like Jacob in Genesis 32, they must truly wrestle with God.
What does true biblical wrestling with God look like?
a. Wrestle with God until He answers all your questions, especially the question: Why did He not prevent your abuse?
b. Keep expressing your hurt and frustrations to God until He responds to you.
c. Tell God some of your frustrations, but not the worst ones, holding back out of respect for God.
d. Even though you inwardly experience doubt and turmoil, your outward expressions must appear poised and confident in God’s sovereignty so His reputation is not diminished in the eyes of others.

22. For a woman who was chronically abused by her earthly father, what would help reduce her fear that God, her heavenly Father, might harm her as well?
a. She could imagine God as genderless.
b. She could begin to call God “Mother”, doing away altogether with the image of God as “Father.”
c. She could picture herself as a child than as an adult because Jesus especially loved children.
d. From the Bible, she could rediscover the true character of God as a tender, loving father; of Jesus as a compassionate advocate for women, children, the broken, and the vulnerable; and as God as a powerful judge of abusers.

23. How is the cross of Christ relevant to an abuse survivor?
a. The cross proves that God cares about human suffering and misery when He allowed Christ His Son to suffer and die for us.
b. Jesus personally understands the horrors of abuse, having been verbally abused, mocked, whipped, slapped, beaten, tortured, spit upon, publicly stripped and nailed to a cross. Christ thoroughly knows the pain of abuse.
c. Christ’s death on the cross began the overthrow of Satan and evil so that someday all abuse will come to an end.
d. All of the above.

Chapter 10: Forgiveness (p. 180-194)
24. Which of the following best summarizes the author’s understanding of biblical forgiveness as applied by victims to their abusers?
a. Victims must treat their abusers’ apologies as genuine, especially when the abuse has been made public, and be quick to forgive them so victims are no longer governed by bitterness.
b. Abuse victims need to “let go” of their anger toward abusers, “let go” of their desire for punishment, stop talking about what the abuser did, and not report the abuser to the authorities, especially if it will harm the family’s or church’s reputation.
c. Abuse victims must not take revenge on the abuser, but they can hold abusers accountable for what they did, praying for God’s judgment on unrepentant abusers. Victims can extend grace, mostly through prayer for the abuser’s healing, and should put strong boundaries in place to prevent re-abuse.
d. Abuse victims should rely solely upon advice from their pastor, minister, or spiritual advisor, since forgiveness is primarily a spiritual matter, and the Bible is unequivocally clear on how to apply the teachings on forgiveness to abusers.

Epilogue: A Word from Mary (p. 195-197)
25. As a healing abuse survivor, Mary gives parting words to the reader.
Which does she NOT say?
a. Be very careful to support and believe the victim.
b. Remember that healing from abuse takes a long time.
c. Allow the victim to be angry at God, at the abuser, even at you.
d. Don’t hesitate to rebuke a victim when she is being mean or harsh.