Michael Barrett’s “Complete in Him” Should Be Back in Print

Few men have impacted my ministry more than Dr. Michael P. V. Barrett, now of Geneva Reformed Seminary. And few books have impacted my understanding of the gospel like his book Complete in Him. It has helped me get my head around the various facets of our great salvation (conversion, regeneration, justification, sanctification, glorification, etc.). In fact, it was this book that helped inspire my writing of His Robes for Mine (text, notes, pdf, octavo), a hymn which focuses on the glories of the doctrine of justification. The book has fed my soul and informed my preaching, and I’d love to be able to introduce it to my friends and those whom I pastor.

There’s the rub. Unfortunately, the book is out of print. The reality of publishing is that publishers need to be convinced that there’s a market for anything they put out. Ambassador-Emerald International does good work—just not charitable work. So I’d like to give Ambassador-Emerald a friendly nudge, convincing them that the book will be useful to the church and, well, sell. Thus, I’m asking those who would like to see the book back in print to say so in the comments section of this thread. Give your name. Tell if you’re a student, teacher, pastor, purchaser for a book store, etc. And if appropriate, explain your request: Why would you like to see the book available? I’m hoping word will spread (via blog links, FB links, etc.) and our friends at Ambassador-Emerald will be convinced to make this great resource available again. So, readers, please help. Link away. :)

Why am I confident that Complete in Him will be well received, perhaps more so now than when it was first released a decade ago? The current and welcome focus on the centrality of the gospel is one reason. Barrett was gospel-centered before it was cool. The renewed appreciation for a more Calvinistic understanding of the gospel is another. Further, Barrett’s book fills a unique niche:

  • It manages to be more accessible than books like Anthony Hoekema’s fairly difficult Saved by Grace, but it’s much more thorough than lighter treatments of soteriology like Jerry Bridge’s The Gospel for Real Life.
  • It’s relentlessly biblical, but besides unpacking Scripture, Barrett cites historic, orthodox confessions—specifically the Westminster Catechisms (Presbyterian, 1646-48) and the London Baptist Confession (Baptist, 1689)—reminding readers that what we believe about our salvation is no new thing.
  • It’s warm-hearted, glorying in truths and highlighting hymns in which the church has meditated on them.
  • It’s pastoral. Far from being a merely academic study, it drives the reader to worship and godliness. As Barrett says repeatedly, “Right thinking about the gospel results in right living in the gospel.”

I’d love to see Complete in Him back in print, and I hope many will kindly agree. SDG.

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96 Responses

  1. “Complete in Him” always made a great gift for graduating students (I’m a teacher). I would definitely be buying copies of this book if it is again made available. Such a great overview of fundamental gospel truths. I very often refer to my copy of the book!

  2. I’m a pastor who would love to see it in print so that those in my congregation could benefit from Barrett’s teaching on the gospel as much as I have.

  3. (Though we share a last name, I am not related to Dr. Barrett). I am a music teacher and have the privilege of working “one on one” with my students. It is obvious that many of them struggle with assurance and with the Christian life because the gospel for them is a “decision” and holiness consists merely of living by a list of standards. I have referred many students to this book and have given it to just as many. I would love to see it back in print…it’s my favorite Senior Recital gift!!

  4. Count me in. (I’m an editor and adjunct professor.)

    I like this line: “Barrett was gospel-centered before it was cool.”

  5. I would like to get a hold of a copy if anybody has an extra one they are willing with which to part.

  6. I have read almost all of Dr Barrett’s books and listened to many of his Sunday Bible Classes on Sermonaudio. He is truly an outstanding teacher. As is his former Pastor, Dr Alan Cairns.

  7. Mike Barrett’s “Complete In Him” is one of my favorites, and I find myself referring to highlighted portions of the text on a regular basis. Barrett continually points us to Christ. I would like to see the book in print again.

  8. I would love to see Dr. Barrett’s book back in print. Though I only had him for 4 lessons in a correspondence course in college, he quickly became my favorite teacher. Thank you, Dr. Barrett, for your service to the body of Christ!

  9. count me in – I want to read this book.

  10. As a seminary student, this sounds like a much needed book that fills a void… I would almost certainly purchase this book if it were re-printed.

  11. As a minister in a new church plant, I would love to see “Complete in Him” back in print as a useful tool in pointing believers to the richness of the gospel of our Christ.

  12. Dr. Barrett drove home a Christ-centered approach to my ministry development 20 years ago in college. I’d love to have access to “Complete In Him”.

  13. This book is worth reprinting. One of my favorite quotes from the book:

    “Right thinking about the gospel produces right living in the gospel.”

  14. Maybe Church Works Media should just take the publishing rights over… :-)

  15. I’ve read Barrett’s other books and thoroughly enjoyed them. This is one that I’ve wanted to ad to my collection!

  16. We would sure love to see this book back in print. As part of our church’s elder training, we have a list of 65 gospel questions based on Dr. Barrett’s book that the men have to be prepared to answer orally. We figure that an elder does not have to be an expert on every part of Scripture, but he’d certainly better be an expert on the gospel.
    We scrounge up used copies of the book when we can find them, and guard our current copies carefully.

  17. I’m a student at RTS-Charlotte, and I currently serve in the college ministry at my church. Besides the Bible, the two most influential books in my life have been “Complete in Him” and “Trusting God” by Jerry Bridges. I consistently recommend them both to college students.

  18. Dr. Barrett is one of my favorite authors (and preachers). He has a wonderful ability to take something overwhelmingly complex and present it to the lay person in a way that makes one thirst for more and more of God’s Word and the treasures therein. I don’t believe anyone has opened up more of the Bible to me than Dr. Barrett. Complete in Him is no exception to Dr. Barrett’s excellent teaching, and I’d love to see it back in print.

  19. Anybody want my copy? $99. :-)

  20. In many ways reading “Complete in Him” was when “the lights went on” for me. It is a must read and a must be in print kind of book.

  21. I have benefited greatly by reading and rereading “Complete.” As a teacher I would like to use it as a resource if not a text in the classroom.

  22. I’d love to see this book back in print!

  23. I’d love to see this book back in print. When I talk to fellow students, students who are often struggling to work through a pretty anemic theology of the gospel, this is the book I recommend–but that’s tough because it’s just tough to find a copy.

    Dr. Barrett has helped me realize that gospel-centered theology and gospel-centered living aren’t new–they’re not passing fads. They’re the foundation of the theology the church has always had at its healthiest.

  24. I read “Complete in Him” when I was in college. It was one of the most helpful books I’ve ever read. It helped me to understand all that Christ has done for us.

  25. Great book. I know many teachers who have encouraged their students to read it, and some have even made it required reading.

  26. oh yea, bring it on!

  27. How disappointing that a book like this would be made unavailable for readers, at a time when so many errant books are being published and strategically placed in the market.

  28. I taught through CIH 3 years ago in our College & Career class. These book is very easy to adapt to a Sunday School class and either as a stand-alone study or a book reading. Barrett’s exegesis of the Gospel in this book is excellent and is a must-read for pastors. I would love to get my hands on some copies of this book!

  29. Chris,

    I want to see this book back in print. I haven’t read it and I know I would be blessed. I hope the publisher would consider doing so because I would certainly be interested in learning more and getting deeper in the Doctrines of Grace. I’m not a pastor but a volunteer.

  30. I would like to see it in print, but if the publishers really just can’t make it work, why not e-Publish it? Many people who already have it may want to buy in in electronic format a second time.

    Sorry if I’m being an unhelpful COMPromiser.

  31. Although I am still old fashioned, and would love to have a copy of this in my hands, Shayne makes an excellent suggestion.

    Either way, I’d certainly enjoy having it for my TBR pile and perhaps do a review for my blog readership!

  32. Dr. Barrett was one of my all time favorite teachers in college/grad school and this book is a great compilation of all that he prizes in the gospel. Just after Complete In Him was released, the church we attended used it for a Sunday School Class and it was such an aid to our greater understanding of the richness of the gospel.
    My husband pastors a church and has recommended this book to many people as an aid to their understanding of the gospel and their standing in Christ. We are blessed to have a copy, but would love to be able to purchase more for others who we minister to as well.
    Christian publishing houses who are truly concerned with spreading unadulterated TRUTH would do well to take note of Complete In Him and do all they can to keep it in print.

  33. An e-book would be better than nothing. Or they could just release it to him and let him seek another publisher. Again, though, I think it would be advantageous to them and others if they would just publish it again. Here’s hoping.

    Thanks all for your comments. Anything you can do to help get the word out would be great.

  34. This book has to be among my top five favorite ‘theology’ books of all time. Reading and meditating on the Person and Work of Christ as communicated in this book dramatically changed my life. Coming out of a background of futile struggles in sanctification through endlessly applying Bible “principles” to help me ‘live victoriously’ this book taught me the truth-Christ has already accomplished everything for us. Remember Barrett’s phrase”object of faith determines value of faith”. Pondering all that we have in Christ-the various facets of this jewel of salvation-we desire only Him and the ‘Spirit bears witness with our spirit that we are the sons of God’. I’ll never forget how God opened my mind and heart with the chapter on Union with Christ-it was staggering.
    I have wanted to get a hardback copy of this book for a long time. I would love to see the book reprinted.

  35. Anytime Dr. Barrett writes a book, I am highly interested. I don’t know him personally, but he is obviously a first rate scholar. Even if you don’t agree with him on every point, you owe it to yourself to at least listen to what he has to say. You can be sure he’s done his homework :-). And you can be sure that you will be challenged and edified. Voices like his need to be heard.

  36. Dr. Barrett spoke at our church 4 or 5 years ago. He preached a series of sermons based on his book Complete in Him. God used one of those sermons to open my heart to the idea of adoption. As I began to grasp the beauty and wonder of my adoption in Christ, I saw the beauty of earthly adoptions as well. We now have a wonderful daughter whom we adopted almost 2 years ago. A few months ago I was asked to teach a lesson on adoption in a high school Bible class. As I prepared, I went through the chapter on adoption in Complete in Him again. To me, that chapter alone is worth the price of the book. It’s a chapter I would recommend to anyone considering adoption. It’s a chapter I wish more Christians would read, not only to gain a greater appreciation for their standing as an adopted child of God but also to consider how Christians’ adoption of children can be a beautiful picture to the church and to the world of what God has done for us in Christ. [Note: I don’t think Dr. Barrett makes that direct application in his book. I believe it is, however, a valid application to draw from the truths presented there.]

  37. Dr. Barrett made big impact on me in my years at BJU. I agree with the comments of others that anything he writes is well worth getting. I bought a used copy of Complete in Him a few years back, and cover to cover, the book was a sweet reminder of what it really means to be “in Christ.” It is definitely a work that I would wholeheartedly recommend to others and use in discipleship.

  38. I’m a student. I’ve wanted Complete in Him for some time. I’d love to see it back in print.

  39. This book changed my heart and much of my philosophy of ministry. I would love to see it back in print. I’m a travel coordinator, student, and Sunday school teacher. I read this book before heading to be a second year counselor at a Christian Camp. It changed my philosophy from targeting “issues” to making sure the girls understood salvation and what it means to have a vital relationship with Christ. If those two things are in line, Christ will deal with the “issues” as they walk with Him. Please publish so I can buy copies for gifts!!

  40. Anything Dr. Barrett writes is worth reprinting.

  41. Dr. Barrett is the hidden treasure of our day. Any publisher that prints his stuff today will have a gold mine for generations to come!

  42. I’m all for seeing it reprinted and doing what I can to help make it happen. It has been and would be a great help to Christ’s church and to those of us given to equip His people to do the work of gospel ministry.

  43. Would love to see this back in print!

  44. Like many others who have posted before me, Complete In Him was a very influential book in my life. God used Barrett’s clear teaching of the Gospel to reshape my theological thinking to be more accurate with Scripture. This should be a book that is available for generations to come. I am a laymen and small group leader at my church. I would recommend this book to anyone in a heartbeat.

  45. I enjoyed and benefited from reading this book several years ago. I had no idea that it was out of print. It was such a clear presentation of salvation and God’s grace that I have mentioned and recommended it to friends at college and during summer camps many times.

  46. I’d promote it too! (… as a missionary, adjunct-missions prof at a few universities, missions blogger, and general missio-holic!) After all, “Complete in Him” is the core message of missions for an incomplete, broken world.

  47. This book is a well-written, devoutly presented work. I am disappointed that it is no longer in print. I pray that they put it back in production.

  48. I serve as the Youth Director for my church and serve on the leadership team as a Deacon. I had the benefit of having Dr. Barrett as a teacher during my undergraduate studies. He was near the top of my list of favorite teachers. I’ve not had the opportunity to read his book yet and would love to see it back in print.

  49. A few months I was reading the blog of my girlfriend’s father, who was a pastor now deceased, and I was pleasantly surprised to see him mention Michael Barrett. Dan Cummings, pastor for twelve years at Five Points Community Church, attributed his most influential teaching and reading in the reformed tradition to Michael Barrett. One of the books that greatly changed the the life and preaching of Pastor Dan was “Complete in Him.” I pray that the glory of Christ will continue to be heralded through the publication of this book.

  50. Recently during a pastoral visitation, I recommended to a young mother that she find a book that simply, yet accurately describes the gospel (the person and work of Jesus Christ). She asked if I knew of one. I thought for a few minutes, but none came to mind. Owen’s volume one would be excellent, but would she read it? Flavel’s volume one would also be excellent but again I doubt she would understand it. After having Complete in Him recommended, I found the book to be everything I wanted. What a wonderful exposition of the glorious gospel of God!

    I was in her home the other day, and noticed she was presently reading it. I have since bought two more copies to read with my unconverted brother who lives in Kentucky. I would wish that every member of my assembly had a copy. What a true blessing!

    Mike Waters
    Heritage Reformed Baptist Church

  51. I was greatly blessed by reading Dr. Barrett’s book “Complete In Him” and would love to see it back in print so that I can continue to buy it to share with others.

  52. Few men have impacted my theological thinking more than Dr. Barrett. His book “Complete Him” was very well received at my first church in ministry. Now that I’m a senior pastor I would love to have the opportunity to pass along a work like “Complete Him” to my current congregation.

  53. Have a tremedous love for this book as it completely spells out what the gospel is. We are begging you to put it in print again because it is exactly what our country needs in lieu of all the feel good theology that has so permeated the churches across America. Thank you for printing it the first time, and would like to thank you for printing it in advance a second time.

  54. No professor helped my understanding of the gospel more than Dr. Barrett. So much of what he taught is contained in “Complete In Him.” It would be a shame if this book is not available any longer. I implore you to reconsider.

  55. One of the only books I’ve ever read where an appendix (of all things) radically altered the way I view my relationship to Christ and to sin. I’m referring to Appendix 3 “Union with Christ: The Ground of Sanctification” Reprint, please!

  56. I support putting this book back into print. With all the great recommendations, I want to purchase my own copy to read.

  57. An excellent book that I would like to see back in print.

  58. Providentially I just decided to check out your blog b/c it has been a while (sorry). I just started working on my lesson plans for studying through the book Complete In Him a couple of weeks ago. As a youth pastor I wanted to teach the teens in Singapore a clear and comprehensive understanding of Salvation which necessarily leads to a sanctified life motivated by the same profound transforming truths that delivered them from sin. Complete In Him is structured very easily to lead them through this teaching and states things in a way that will help them grasp the significance of the Gospel.

  59. If it’s reprinted, I’ll buy a copy.

  60. If you would like a quick overview of the book you can check out this google doc link:

    https://docs.google.com/fileview?id=0BykCHkiq29eRZjBjMmQ2MzUtMzg0Ny00Zjg4LTkzNDMtMDM1YTc1ZjYyOWY1&hl=en&authkey=COCAo_cL

  61. I own a copy in my library, and you should also !!!

  62. I continue to return to my copy of “Complete in Him.” It’s a resource gem of gospel hope and beauty. I definitely think it should be reprinted. Given the growing interest in gospel-centered theology within evangelicalism, I think “Complete in Him” would have an even wider readership if it were to be reprinted. I’d love to see it revised and updated, too.

  63. I’ve not read the book, but I would love to–based on what many others have said and also my own experiences reading Michael Barrett’s writings. If there’s one thing needed in the American church, it’s a fuller understanding of the Gospel. No one is more up to the task of explaining it in an engaging and practical way than Michael Barrrett. Please reprint it!

  64. I know at least one situation in which “Complete in Him” was used as a textbook in a Christian high school Bible class. I have profited from it personally and would definitely appreciate its availability so that I can give it as a gift or recommend it to others.

  65. I’ve benefited greatly from this book and Dr. Barrett’s teaching. As a pastor I’d love to be able to recommend this wonderful book to people in my ministry. Please consider reprinting this book!

  66. I hate to admit I have not read this book but now really want to after reading some of these comments. I will buy at least one copy and perhaps more if it is reprinted.

  67. This a fantastic book and needs to be in print, again…Barrett’s work is very valuable to the church!

  68. Barrett’s work is solid. Should be re-printed by someone.

    Straight Ahead!

    Joel Tetreau

  69. Wonderful book. One of the most influential books I’ve ever read. I recommend it regularly (e.g., my recommended resources on union with Christ.

  70. This book definitely needs to be put back in print. We hav a copy in our church library and I also have my own copy. After reading these comments, I will at some point reread this book. Anything by Barrett is worth owning in your personal library.

  71. I have read the book and love it. I think it could be a great tool to use even with the English speaking students here in France where I live. Count my vote.

  72. The book should reprinted or released so that another can. To keep sitting on it is not helpful to anyone, the publisher or the pew. It’s not the only tool available for understanding the gospel, but it is one of the best.

  73. Dr. Barrett is one of the men who have had the greatest impact on my understanding of the gospel. He was instrumental in my finally finding assurance of faith by resting in Christ rather than looking at my faith. This book is a tool that certainly ought to be kept in print, as it is a clear and readable, but deep and thorough, explanation of the gospel!

  74. Both Dr. Barrett and Complete In Him have been very influential to me. Dr. Barrett’s teaching, in general, and Complete In Him,in particular, have shaped my view of the Gospel immensely.

  75. I and a small group of close-knit friends read this book for a Ladies’ Bible Study- not the typical fare you’d expect, but then again, Dr. Barrett’s writing isn’t typical Ladies’ Bible Study material! We benefited greatly and were caused to think seriously about the glories of the gospel.

  76. I have not read the book but am intrigued by the descriptions of other readers and would like to be able to purchase it.

  77. As a pastor I would heartily recommend this book to anyone in the church I serve. In fact, this blog post has me thinking about ways to use it church-wide (if it were in print!). A tremendous, accessible summary of what the Bible teaches about our great salvation!

  78. I have been greatly helped in my pastoral ministry by Michael Barrett’s Complete in Him. Dr. Barrett is an astute thinker and fine communicator. The reprint of this book would be widely received.

  79. Add me to the list. I recommend it when I travel but it’s hard to come by a copy these days.

  80. I’m happy to have the hard cover edition. I read the book and gave out about four or five copies of the soft cover before (and after) the book went out of print. I would love to see it back.

  81. I would certainly love to see more titles like this back in print. And I’d also add that it would be great if they would consider eBook versions. They have a comparatively low production cost and don’t require reprintings.

  82. I had heard of it, and couldn’t find it. I would like to see it available…I am a church planter pastor.

  83. I was shocked when I found out that I could no longer purchase printed copies of “Complete In Him.” I referred it to one of my congregants and he had to buy it used from Amazon. A reprint would be a big help to my ministry here in PA. I envision referring to it for the rest of my time in the pastorate and would love to be able to say “here is your own copy to enjoy.” Please reprint this gem of a work pertaining to the ever important and central message of the gospel.

  84. I read this book in college on the recommendation of a friend. Few books have had more significant impact on my understanding of and joy in Christ and His Gospel. I own a copy but I’ll buy at least 5 more for my church’s book table if this is reprinted.

  85. Dr Barrett –for the win!
    Seriously, one of God’s richest blessings in my academic and devotional life. I’m going to be stalking his table at the coffee shop up in heaven.

    Seriously — I’d be happy to proofread the content for free and prep the file for print or e-book publication if somebody out there can secure the rights.

  86. I heartily agree that Complete in Him should be put back on the printing presses again. I learned much from the book as well as from the author when I had him as a teacher. His book encapsulates core soteriological issues. Barrett’s main burden for this book was to help believers struggling with assurance of salvation, and that chapter itself makes the book worthy of being printed again.

  87. Barrett has influenced my understanding of the gospel more than any other individual. The church would be well served by reprinting this book. As a college teacher, I promoted the book to my students. I also taught through it in 2 different Sunday school settings; in both cases, it was well received.

  88. Update: I’ve heard from Ambassador that Complete in Him is being printed again now and will be available for purchase shortly. Praise the Lord! Thanks all for chiming in.

    Details here.

  89. […] the book went out of print and has been unavailable for several years. However, due in part to requests from friends of MTC that it be made available again (for which I thank you!), new copies of the book have been printed. You can obtain a copy (or […]

  90. […] the ministries of scores of others. I’ve joined with many of them to urge that his books be made readily available and widely read (with at least a measure of success, by God’s grace). You can imagine, then, […]

  91. […] My Two Cents: Michael Barrett’s Complete in Him Should Be Back in Print […]

  92. Ever since you spoke of it in Gospel Meditations For Men, I have wanted to read it! If it were not for the 29.99 used price tag on amazon I would buy it right now. If publishers don’t want to do a print edition, why not at least at kindle? I am sure someone out there would be glad to do the transcript.

  93. Logos is gathering stats and pre-orders for a Barrett collection including “Complete in Him”. (http://www.logos.com/product/7281/michael-barrett-collection)
    I would love to see an e-book available of this book.

  94. […] Dr. Barrett was one of my professors in college, and his Christ-centered interpretation of Scripture fed my soul in the midst of the academia. This past weekend his continued Christ-centered approach helped us see the “what” and “how” of biblical marriage. […]

  95. […] speaker was Dr. Michael Barrett, President of Geneva Reformed Seminary. As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, Dr. Barrett’s influence on my delight in and understanding of the Scriptures has been […]

  96. […] MTC posts on Michael Barrett here, here, and here.) Share this:FacebookEmailTwitterLike this:LikeBe the first to like this […]

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