Archive for the ‘Christian Life’ Category

The Confessions of Bishop Augustine of HippoDownload your FREE eBook here:

Confessions of Augustine written by legendary philosopher and theologian Saint Augustine is an autobiographical work which is widely considered to be one of the greatest books of all time. This great classic will surely attract a whole new generation of readers. For many, Confessions of Augustine is required reading for various courses and curriculums. And for others who simply enjoy reading timeless pieces of classic literature, this gem by Saint Augustine is highly recommended.

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In his own day the dominant personality of the Western Church, Augustine of Hippo today stands as perhaps the greatest thinker of Christian antiquity, and his Confessions is one of the great works of Western literature.


The Confessions of Bishop Augustine of Hippo reveal one man’s weaknesses, desires, and sin as well as his repentance and conversion. In this work, Augustine makes known his prayers on behalf of the reader: “Stir up the heart when people read and hear the confessions of my past wickedness, which you have forgiven and covered up to grant me happiness in yourself” (p. 180). It was his prayer that the heart, by reading these confessions, would be “aroused in the love of [God’s] mercy and the sweetness of [His] grace” (p. 180).

“This classic from the greatest theological mind of the first millennia after Christ shows us the great heart of Augustine. Devotional, inspiring and convicting, The Confessions show us the grace of God at work, giving us hope that He still works in us today. This book shaped the western church, and can reshape us all that we better reflect the character of Christ.”
–R.C. Sproul Jr.


Henry Scougal’s classic, The Life of God in the Soul of Man (1677)

– the book instrumental in George Whitefield’s conversion.

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“Scougal contended that to be a Christian is to have “divine life” resident and reigning within.” He wrote that Christianity is not about external duties to perform, nor is it an emotion or feeling one has. He defines true religion as the union of the soul with God, a partaker of the divine nature, or in the apostle’s words, “Christ in you, the hope of glory.”

“In his book, Scougal essentially defines a Christian as this exquisite creature who actually has God resident in his soul. In his own way, he’s meditating on our union with Christ as a way of helping a new convert understand the Christian life.” – Thabiti Anyabwile

Click on the title of the book to download your FREE copy.
1. The Work Of The Ministry By W. H. Griffith Thomas (PDF)

The Work of the Ministry, perhaps Griffith Thomas’ greatest book. The substance of that book was delivered as lectures at Wycliffe Hall.

Excerpt from a biographer:

His addresses on Pastoralia, in view of his varied experiences in different spheres and his wide reading, must have been specially helpful. Much of what he then gave was reproduced later in The Work of the Ministry. The second part on Preaching is unrivalled in its grasp of the subject and its suggestiveness. “Think yourself empty, read yourself full, write yourself clear, pray yourself keen—then enter the pulpit and let yourself go!” It would be hard to better that as a general counsel.

2. The Importance of Christian Scholarship By J. Gresham Machen (PDF)

This article contains three lectures given at meetings of the Bible League in CaxtonHall, Westminster, London on June 17, 1932.



Modern Teaching

“Religious Education”

I. The Importance of Christian Scholarship for Evangelism

II. The Importance of Christian Scholarship for Defense of the Faith

III. The Importance of Christian Scholarship for the Building Up of the Church

3. The Religious Life of Theological Students By Benjamin B. Warfield (PDF)

Delivered as an address at the Autumn Conference at Princeton Theological Seminary on October 4, 1911. Dr. Warfield shows the importance for those preparing for the ministry to grow both as scholars and as people of God. (15 Pages)


In his address called The Religious Life of Theological Students, delivered at Princeton Theological Seminary on the 4th of October 1911, Benjamin B. Warfield stressed the need for servants of God to be both learned and religious. The man without learning, Warfield noted, no matter with what other gifts he may be endowed, is unfit for his duties. Because he was addressing students in particular, the burden of his lecture was on their “religious” or spiritual life—that is, Warfield was warning these students about the dangers of studying apart from worship, of seeking knowledge apart from godliness. Severing knowledge and godliness is indeed perilous to the soul. Apart from godliness, knowledge merely puffs up into vanity and pride; apart from knowledge, godliness proves thin and unstable, tossing one about by every wind of doctrine.

Dr. L. Michael Morales, Reformation Bible College

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1. The Doctrine of Repentance by Thomas WatsonThe Doctrine Of Repentance

One of the easiest to read Puritans, Thomas Watson, explains what true Christian repentance looks like in the believers life. A quote from the Foreword: “Repentance is never out of season…”

Knowing what repentance is, and actually repenting, are essential to true Christianity. Few better guides have existed in any area of spiritual experience than Thomas Watson. A good case could be made out for believing that “repentance” is one of the least used words in the Christian church today. In a world that will not tolerate the mention of sin, and in churches where it has been defined only in sociological terms, the biblical teaching on repentance has inevitably been ignored. Knowing what repentance is, and actually repenting are essential to true Christianity. Jesus Christ himself said that if we do not repent, we will perish! It is vital, therefore, to read and study what Scripture has to say about this theme.
Watson was a master of both Scripture and the human heart, and wrote with a simplicity and directness that keeps his work fresh and powerful for the twentieth century. Watson shows what gospel repentance is: Repentance is a grace of God’s Spirit whereby a sinner is inwardly humbled and visibly reformed.
For a further amplification, know that repentance is a spiritual medicine made up of six special ingredients:
1. Sight of sin
2. Sorrow for sin
3. Confession of sin
4. Shame for sin
5. Hatred for sin
6. Turning from sin
If any one is left out it loses its virtue.

2. A Lifting Up For The Downcast By William Bridge

Depression is not unique to our times. To encourage the depressed, Bridge wrote this choice book and filled it with the kind of rich encouragement which our generation too rarely hears.

A quote from the book:A Lifting Up For The Downcast

“Suppose that a man have sinned greatly against his conscience, or against his light, against his knowledge, hath he not just cause or reason then to be cast down, and to be quite discouraged? No; for if there be a sacrifice for such a sin as this is, then a man hath no reason to be quite discouraged; cause to be humbled … but no reason to be discouraged. … Do you not think that Peter, when he denied his Lord and Master, sinned against his conscience, against his light, and against his knowledge? … for though your sin be great, is not God’s mercy great, exceeding great? Is not the satisfaction made by Christ great? …Is Jesus Christ only a Mediator for small sins? Will you bring down the satisfaction of Christ, and the mercy of God, to your own model? Has not the Lord said concerning pardoning mercy, that His ‘thoughts are not as our thoughts, but as the heavens are greater than the earth, so are his thoughts (in this respect) beyond our thoughts’?”

Precious Remedies Against Satan's Devices By Thomas Brooks

Available for FREE here in PDF, ePub & MOBI formats:

This book is a must-read for every Christian, especially those who are struggling or tampering with sin.

Satan hates “Precious Remedies Against Satan’s Devices” because it exposes his methods. More than that, it offers biblical methods to avoid and overcome temptation. The message and content of “Precious Remedies Against Satan’s Devices” are as useful today as they were many ages ago when it was written. The profound depths of insight that Thomas Brooks delivers makes it worthy of reading over and over again.

Whether you are downhearted, unsure about the topic of spiritual warfare, or want to successfully battle pride, unbelief, or lust, this book has it all.

A quote from the preface to the book:

“Beloved in our dearest Lord, Christ, the Scripture, your own hearts, and Satan’s devices, are the four prime things that should be first and most studied and searched. If any cast off the study of these, they cannot be safe here, nor happy hereafter. It is my work as a Christian, but much more as I am a Watchman, to do my best to discover the fullness of Christ, the emptiness of the creature, and the snares of the great deceiver; which I have endeavored to do in the following discourse, according to that measure of grace which I have received from the Lord.”

A Review: 

Most of the Puritans knew Satan better than they knew their best friend. Not that they were intimate with the Devil, but they knew his devices so well and with such clarity that it would have almost seemed they could, by the power of the Spirit, expose every one of his hell-deserving schemes.

In this small book, Thomas Brooks teaches the Christian that Satan is alive and well, and desires to destroy the Christian by his many devices. However, Brooks arms the Christians not only with that knowledge but also with the knowledge that the devices have remedies which may be applied to them. The Christian has weapons for the war. There are precious remedies clearly taught in God’s word which flow from the throne of grace into the minds and hearts of the saints to fight against the wiles of the devil. And being thus equipped we can say with Paul “we are not unaware of his devices.”

Charles H. Spurgeon wrote: “As a writer, Brooks scatters stars with both his hands. He has dust of gold: in his storehouse are all manner of precious stones. Genius is always marvelous, but when sanctified it is matchless.”

(We apologise for sending this again – there were some broken links in the first attempt.)

Forgotten God By Francis Chan (PDF, MOBI, ePub)

Forgotten God By Francis Chan

Reversing Our Tragic Neglect of the Holy Spirit
Free Copy

Available for free download here:

A compelling invitation to rediscover the Holy Spirit’s power in our lives.

In Forgotten God Francis Chan contends that we’ve ignored the Spirit for far too long, and that without Him, we operate in our own strength, only accomplishing human-sized results. It’s time for the beloved church of Jesus Christ to reverse the trend of neglect. Let’s pursue the Spirit-filled life of effectiveness God desires and we desire.


“Chan’s previous book Crazy Love has sold over a quarter million copies and continues to fly off bookstore shelves. Forgotten God shares a message that is nearly as urgent and undoubtedly even more important. It is a fitting sequel that bears many resemblances to the book it follows. After all, how can we show true love if not through the Holy Spirit? There are many people sharing similar messages today, but few doing so to Chan’s audience which is largely young and in many cases not very well trained in the teachings of Scripture. I have little doubt that God will use this to shake them up in all the right ways.” – Tim Challies

Rescuing Ambition By Dave Harvey (PDF, MOBI, ePub)


Available for download here: Ambition By Dave Harvey

Ambition needs to be rescued and put to work for God’s glory. This book will encourage and embolden believers to pursue their dreams with a godly ambition that seeks more for God and from God.

Many think of ambition as nothing more than the drive for personal honor or fame. As a result, ambition—the God-implanted drive to improve, produce, develop, and create—is neglected and well on its way to paralysis.

For some, dreams are numbed. For others, there are no dreams; life just happens. And for those who are dreaming, motives are often confused. One thing is certain: ambition needs help.

Dave Harvey is calling for a rescue. He wants to snatch ambition from the heap of failed motivations and put it to work for the glory of God. To understand our ambition, we must understand that we are on a quest for glory. And where we find glory determines the success of our quest.

Has your God-given ambition been starved and sedated for too long? Are you ambitious? It’s time to reach further and dream bigger for the glory of God.


“In Rescuing Ambition, Dave Harvey distinguishes ambition for the glory of God, which is good, from ambition for the glory of self, which is bad. But godly ambition doesn’t exist in a vacuum, so Harvey helps us see how it is intertwined with humility, contentment, faith, and above all, the gospel. Dave Harvey is both an experienced pastor and a gifted writer, so you will find this book not only profitable but also hard to put down.”

-Jerry Bridges, author, The Pursuit of Holiness

“Ambition is war; a battle between the sin-driven pursuit of autonomy, self-sufficiency, and self-glory and a humble desire that everything you do would reflect the one thing that is excellent in every way, the glory of God. On every page, Harvey alerts us to this war and trains us to be good soldiers.”

-Paul David Tripp, President, Paul Tripp Ministries; author, What Did You Expect?: Redeeming the Realities of Marriage.

“Dave Harvey isn’t satisfied to live a mediocre life and he isn’t satisfied to see the followers of Jesus live that way either. In his down-to-earth style, Dave takes the concept of ambition from the ‘reject’ pile of Christian vocabulary and reminds us that it is desirable, no, it is a gospel imperative to be ambitious for the right reasons and the right goals. His arguments are not psycho-babble, either, but grounded in scripture, theologically sound, and intensely practical.”

-Timothy Z. Witmer, Professor of Practical Theology, Westminster Theological Seminary

Download this eBook here: Marriage and Family

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Crossway; 2nd edition
  • Price: $7.99

This updated, second edition of Kostenberger and Jones’s landmark work tackles the latest debates and cultural challenges to God’s plan for marriage and the family and urges a return to a biblical foundation.

We live in a time of crisis regarding marriage and the family, and only by a return to the biblical foundation can these institutions be rebuilt.

To provide an integrated, biblical treatment of the full range of marriage and family issues, the authors of God, Marriage, and Family examine what Scripture says about God’s purposes for humans in their marriage and family interactions.

Their examination covers the special issues stemming from marriage, child-rearing, singleness, homosexuality, and divorce and remarriage.

With study questions and points for further discussion, this book is a comprehensive yet concise resource for anyone seeking a Scriptural response to our culture’s complex challenges to God’s intentions for marriage and family.

“In breadth of coverage, thoroughness of learning, clarity of analysis and argument and, I think, soundness of judgment, this solid, lucid, pastorally angled treatise has no peer. Evangelicals who research, debate, teach, and counsel on gender, sex, marriage, and family will find it an endlessly useful resource. The easy mastery with which the author threads his way through forty years’ special pleadings gives this compendium landmark significance, and I recommend it highly.”
-J. I. Packer, Board of Governors’ Professor of Theology, Regent College; author, Knowing God

“A generation ago the most influential book on marriage for me was God and Marriage by Geoffrey Bromiley. Now I have been married over 35 years and have sons who are near where I was in their marriages. For them-and for a whole generation under assault on the meaning of marriage and family-I am now looking to Andreas Köstenberger’s new and larger God, Marriage, and Family to do for this generation what Bromiley’s book did for mine. Unlike Bromiley’s book, Köstenberger’s book takes on the challenges of the present explicitly. That is more necessary now than it was 25 years ago. The special value of this book lies again in its pervasive exposition of Scripture. We are adrift in a sea of speculation without this. I am thankful for the book. I plan to give it to my grown children.”
-John Piper, Pastor for Preaching and Vision, Bethlehem Baptist Church, Twin Cities, Minnesota

“Anything Andreas Köstenberger publishes is worthy of attention. His international education and experience, his teaching career, and his Christian character make him an author to be read with both care and anticipation. You may not agree with all his conclusions, but you’ll be better equipped for living and teaching about God, marriage, and Family. Sensible, balanced, and biblical, this is a sound and timely summary of the Bible’s teaching on some of the most basic and yet controversial topics in today’s world. I highly recommend it.”
-Mark Dever, Senior Pastor, Capitol Hill Baptist Church, Washington DC; President, 9Marks

Homiletics and Pastoral Theology By William G.T. Shedd

Homiletics and Pastoral Theology
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Shedd explores not only the intellectual responsibilities of clergy, but also the pastoral function of leadership. Although Shedd is often remembered as a theologian and historian, he also devoted his writing to the theory and practice of preaching. He forcefully argues that rhetorical elegance—the kind required for good preaching—is not merely a matter of aesthetics, but of ethics.

He describes the relationship between eloquence and exegesis, the process of choosing a text and crafting a sermon, and the nature of extemporaneous preaching. The second half of this volume defines and explains the relationship between preaching and pastoral theology.

Search and Trace

I launched Search and Trace at the beginning of 2012 and what a ride it has been!

There are two features to this website, an e-commerce platform and a blog.

e-commerce shopping

So far I have had a lot of fun with the e-commerce side of Search and Trace, plus I have been encouraged to see how well it has been received. Literally thousands of folk, from nearly 100 countries around the world, have visited and eagerly availed themselves to the excellent free and discounted e-books that are available for download. What a blessing to see such a hunger for quality Christian literature. And, to those of you who have taken a moment to express your appreciation, I am truly thankful for your kind words and encouragement.

Then there is the blogging function!Blogging

Well, it’s taken me more than 6 months to get around to using this side of the website i.e. to use it as a blogger and actually write something of my own. I suppose I could give a number of reasons why it’s taken me so long e.g. most of my spare time has been taken up with learning, launching, stocking, responding, and tweaking the e-commerce side of the website.

Another excellent reason would be that there are just so many bloggers out there already, and some excellent ones at that, why glut the blogosphere with yet another wannabe!?

But, to be honest, I suppose the main reason for delaying has to do with the combination of a number of  negative influences. First, there is the hard work – writing is HARD WORK! Then, there is having to deal with the critics! Then, there is the unremitting need to have something to write about – daily, well at least weekly! And so on, and so on.

Waste not want notThe truth is, I have a blog, so, blog I must. My Dad took great pains to teach me the valuable lesson of “waste not, want not”, and it’s been killing me knowing that I am paying for the hosting of  this blogging facility and not making use of it – thanks Dad!

Well, I hope you got to the end of this post – that’s it, my first attempt at blogging! I’m done for now. But just before I go, there is one small favour I would like ask of you, and that is,

Please tell others about  Search and Trace – Forward them this post!

I do have a some great ideas for future blog posts – so please don’t unsubscribe yet!

Your friend at Search and Trace.

50 Crucial Questions

Here’s our latest FREE offering:

50 Crucial Questions About Manhood and Womanhood
By John Piper & Wayne Grudem.

John Piper says,
“This is the booklet I return to most often in dealing with the knotty issues of manhood and womanhood in ministry.”