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Pentecostalism and the Spirit of Unity

An introduction of a Pentecostal pioneer and his ecumenical ideals during 1900-1913

Is it possible to open clogged springs? Is it true that the oldest is the newest – for that was the beginning – afterward everything is just older? Was that why Thomas Ball Barratt did not say: “Back to” -, but “Onward to primitive Christianity”?[1] 

 A church or an awakening cannot be renewed by that which is outside her, trends, ideas and methods. We live only through the life that we receive through our roots, and let me add: through the new insights we receive from our dialogue with other churches, from our involvement in the ecumenical movement, and from our own spiritual and theological development. We haven’t perceived and seen everything. Also Pentecostal “know in part” - as in a mirror (1 Cor 13: 12) However, to live radically is to be challenged by some roots, some role models, and some visions that were, but maybe later were forgotten.

Tomas Ball Barratt 
What can we learn from our pioneers on Norwegian soil? Let me present for you the man who was the strongest role model of them all, perhaps because he was in the first line. Thomas Ball Barratt was a man who came to influence Norwegian and European Pentecostalism for 35 years. He was not even Norwegian, but I can promise you that he loved Norway more than the majority of Norwegians did. Let me concentrate on the first 10 years after he had his existential experience of the Holy Spirit’s power and direction. I’ll just give some reflection about what I prefer to call the later Barratt as distinct from the early Barratt.
All of you may know Steven Land’s definition of the spirituality of Pentecostalism: It is a passion for the Kingdom.[2] I cannot think of a pioneer who to such a great degree realized that title of a book. Barratt himself was the personification of that passion, not only for the new and progressive Pentecostal movement over 100 years ago, but for the whole body of Christian churches and denominations. In him was the flame that makes us into a People of the Spirit, modest and pleased, trembling and dancing before the face of God.
Barratt was born in Cornwall in England 22th of July 1862. He was son of Mary Ball and Alexander Barratt, a mining industry leader. When they leaved Cornwall Barratt was still a young boy, but the local Methodist pastor placed his hand on his head and prophesied: one day you will surely be a good preacher! He grew up on Varaldsøy, an island on the west coast of Norway, came to Christiania (as Oslo was called at that time) and became after only a few years the Methodist Church’s foremost speaker and representative or supervisor. He was greatly gifted and all-sided. He was a student of the famous composer, Edvard Grieg in Bergen and he learned painting from He became involved in the temperance movement, and he was a persistent advocate for total abstinence.[3]

I think that his whole life was a big story about love and desire. He loved his God, his family, his fellow believers, the man and women sitting on the street, he loved those who wanted to win for God and he loved other congregations. He represented the best of the legacy of the Methodist church of that time. There was also something about him that made him different. Without doubt he was ahead of his time – at least until resistance and other circumstances began to limit his ministry. What happened after 1916 – from the time when Philadelphia congregation was founded – follows a more traditional path and was in part the result of his dreams not being fulfilled as he wished. This was a sour tone in his otherwise happy melody of life. I’ll say a little about that before I finish my presentation.

«Cross-cultural revivalist»
Barratt’s most important characteristic before 1906 was his ability to combine a clear awakening profile with strong social involvement and taking into use popular means. He was a “cross-cultural revivalist”, even though he was otherwise grounded in a classical pietistic tradition. He had a very clear focus, but he was also culturally friendly and free from prejudice in the use of aesthetic and practical means. He was known for his amazing Magica Laterna – an ultra-modern slide projector that Norway had barely ever seen before. It was so popular that the famous Norwegian explorer and scientist, Fritjof Nansen, appealed to Barratt to borrow his projector for his lectures. Barratt himself used his Magica when holding social-anthropological lectures on «Norway, the Land of the Midnight Sun» while visiting other countries, England for ex. He used his Magica in his battle against the entertainment culture in Christiania, and he used it to show drawings of Jesus’ suffering and death on the cross!

Well, he was also involved in local politics in the capital, and was a driving force in the ecumenical alliance work being done across church lines in the city at that time. He was committed to children’s and youth work and had ambitious plans on building Håkonsborgen, “The Castle of Håkon”, the new Norwegian king, crowned in 1905. In this building he dreamed to establish a library and a café, reading rooms and a room for services. Here, awakenings were to take place as well as cultural activities. He wanted to both enlighten the people and invite them to salvation. He offered gymnastics groups for youth, he hired in brigade music to hold concerts with the profits going to the unemployed. He held meetings at well-known entertainment spots in town, and he could finish his lectures and meetings by playing Fridrich Chopin…

1906-1916: Pre-constitutional phase
10 years is not a long period of time in the context of church history. The time between 1906 and 1916 was, however, in especially foundational for what we can call the Pentecostal movement’s pre-constitutional phase. This period represents the birth of the Pentecostal movement and therefore had the function of establishing an early identity. Barratt and the other Pentecostal leaders were not concerned with the establishment of a new church at this time, actually quite the contrary. They found themselves already within different denominations. According to Hollenweger, the Dutch Pentecostal, Gerit Polman, wrote that “the purpose of the pentecostal movement is not to establish one denomination, but to rebuild all denominations,” or said in other words: This young Spirit movement may be a tool for spiritual renewal which encompasses the already existing churches. The problem is not the number of church denominations, but the lack of Spirit…

A similar perspective is reflected in the first edition of the Apostolic Faith: «It is not our desire to tear down churches but to make new churches out of old ones. We pray for God to send the Pentecost to every church».[4] This can, of course, be read as a highly triumphalistic utterance, but it can also say something about a growing ecumenical awareness which came to the fore at that moment, as a gift of the Spirit and without any theological reflection in advance within the new revival. That was, in any case, the approach of the early Barratt.

Thus, it was pneumatology, and not ecclesiology that was the primary focus of the Pentecostal movement. Instead of attacking the dogmatic positions of others – which was the rule more than the exception during the interwar period 20-30 years later – they brought forth a theological defense of the experiences of the baptism of the Holy Spirit as well as other experiences of being equipped with charismatic gifts.[5] Thus, this was a time when the newly founded movement with a low degree of precise terms for its own theology attempted to define itself within a context that first met it with curiosity, and then with a great amount of resistance. Byposten told that there were prayer requests from preachers and ministers in places such as Zurich, Russia, New Zealand, South Africa, England, The US, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Iceland and Germany.

The ecumenical ideals – which to some degree were naïve – should come as no surprise as the leaders of the Pentecostal movement at this time both nationally and internationally had their confessional identities connected to other churches. It was not an already defined denomination that was established in Norway in 1907, as it was with other denominations that were planted during the second half of the 1800’s in Scandinavia. The Pentecostal movement was an unstructured movement with greatly differing roots, and among these, the ecumenical roots were visible, thanks to the legacy the pioneers received from other churches. We ought to notice that T. B. Barratt was Methodist, the German Pentecostal leader, Jonathan Paul, was a Lutheran minister, Alexander Boddy from Sunderland, was – and remained – an Anglican minister. The Dutch Pentecostal leader Gerrit Polman from Amsterdam was for a long period of time a pioneer in ecumenical reconciliation efforts, and the Reformed French minister, Louis Dallière worked his whole life at presenting the Pentecostal/Charismatic renewal to his own church. The two former worked closely with Barratt in the years between 1906 and 1916,[6] not at least they cooperated extensively for establishing very interesting theological conferences several places in both Scandinavia and on the continent.[7] In the following, I will sum up some of the most central positions and concerns that characterized the first Pentecostals from this period, especially T. B. Barratt.
Ecumenical insights, motives and concerns
The first aspect, Pentecost is for everyone! The theological insight that came to be dominant the first few years, presented by Barratt’s sharp and clear editorial pen, was that the experience of Pentecost belongs to all who believe in Christ.[8] Therefore, it can be a universal, corporate, Christian experience. The young Pentecostal movement both in Scandinavia, England and Germany was quick to point out that Pentecostals should not imagine themselves having a “right of ownership” over charismatic spiritual life and power.[9] The theological program of the Pentecostal movement is summed up in an editorial article, written by Barratt in Byposten in 1911:

«The Pentecostal movement does not come in the form of an organization, but as a spiritual stream of life, pressing into, if possible, all congregations with a message of blessing from God. […] The Pentecostal movement is not bound to sectarianism. It has a message for our time, a message of salvation from sin, fullness of the Spirit and life in God, a spirit of brotherhood and mercy towards those who are suffering and oppressed, reconciliation between the warriors on the church walls, and victory for the Gospel of Christ. It is God’s answer to modern theology and the rationalism of our time. Therefore, it is also hated and persecuted, but it cannot be stopped, for it is preparing the way for Christ’s second coming…»[10]

The Norwegian historian Arne Hassing has a thought-provoking view of Barratt’s role in the Methodist Church in Norway and the effects of what happened in 1906-07: «There were no meaningful religious impulses from Methodism after 1907, when Barratt severed his connections to The Methodist Church. With him went the spirit that was to make the Pentecostal movement the factor in the 20th century that Methodism had been in 19th century religious life in Norway».[11]

In the beginning, no one planned on establishing a new denomination. There is reason to believe that Barratt positioned himself as he did because he wanted to use all his time to proclaim that the baptism of the Spirit and the equipment of power that the primitive church represented, according to him was the answer to the challenges that all of Christianity faced; a lack of interest in winning souls and mission, influence from liberal theology and rationalism, together with «hardening church forms» that did not give enough room for the works of the Spirit.[12]

The Pentecostal experience’s trans-confessional character the first ten years had been stimulated by reports from the ongoing awakening in Los Angeles, in Azusa Street 312. Barratt was well informed about this revival, and he often referred to, and translated, articles from The Apostolic Faith. I take into account that he was inspired by what the ideals of William Seymour and stated by Douglas Nelson when he writes that Seymour likely had another agenda than only being a catalyst of doctrines developed by Charles Parham. Nelson writes: “Parham thought glossolalia was a proof of an experience; Seymour saw it as the mean to the restored community.”[13] According to Nelson and Mel Robeck, solidarity of equality is important elements to understand de ecumenical ideals in the early Pentecostal movement.[14] In his historical presentation of the Azusa Street revival, Robeck writes:

In a world that valued and divided people according to color, they tried to show us that we can attain racial harmony, intimacy, and inclusiveness when we remember that we are all one in the Spirit of God. Neither skin nor differences in age, gender, class, culture, or level of education should separate anyone within the body of Christ.[15]

The multinational, racially and gender neutral ideals of unity that were attempted there, reinforced the thought that the baptism of the spirit and charismatic gifts were precisely what the entire Christian church needed. Thus it was a call to stand together in unity and reconciliation. Pentecostals believed in the possibility of an interdenominational, alliance based understanding that was not limited by theological boundaries. His field of vision was not filled with dogmatic consensus but rather awakening and mission.

The idea that the gift of the Spirit was addressed to the entire church made it necessary for Barratt to warn against what he described as «the partisan’s spirit»; critique and judgment of other churches and their theological doctrine. He believed that this characterized much of church life in Norway at the beginning of the 20th century, within other churches and in the free-church milieu. Stubborn attitudes and negative descriptions by others hindered Pentecostalism’s way into the churches. Should work at unification succeed, something had to be done with the negative attitudes that dominated the minds of so many Christians. 

Pentecostals believed that a friendlier and more brotherly attitude toward interdenominational work would be a natural fruit of the spirit that was given on Pentecost. Both as a Methodist leader and as the leader of the dawning Pentecostal awakening, the theme “Christian unity” became a central concern for Barratt, not the least in his opinion forming work as a writer. He could talk of «The brotherly mind that the spirit of Pentecost» must give birth to, and he formulated a beautiful prayer for unity:
Dear Lord Jesus, may your prayer as the high priest be fulfilled in us all, So that we can stand together as a powerful front of unity against sin and the world, And thus honor your name and reveal your glory. Amen![16]

My research materials show, however, that the battle against partisanism was a battle that Barratt lost, not on in popular opinion but also partially in his own ministry as a Pentecostal leader. There was a clear change in tone around 1915. And the year after, when the church of Philadelphia was established as a separate congregation with Barratt as pastor, the theological guidance no longer had room for the idea that the Pentecostal experience was a call to unity and reconciliation across confessional lines.
In his biography of Barratt, Martin Ski points out that it must have seemed quite strange for many that the man who, at the start of the century, had spoken so warmly of Christian unity and interdenominational alliance, developed to be more and more isolationistic after 1920. Ski claims that Barratt, for long periods of time, had no contact beyond the Pentecostal movement’s boundaries. He distanced himself from the Norwegian Sunday School Union that he had been a part of founding, and at times he was not involved in the Dissenters Congress that he had earlier been so active in. From 1916, Barratt could attack other churches without having first been attacked.[17]

That Pentecostals soon enough became a movement of independent congregations came to be at odds with the trans-confessional ideas of the Pentecostal awakening; therefore, the ecumenical prophetic voice of the Pentecostals passed away, even though it would have been possible to do both. Today these ideas have been catched up by a young generation.

Apostolic Christianity
The second aspect, the restoration of primitive Christian ideals. With expressions such as: «Pentecost has come» [18] and «He is bringing the Baptism of Pentecost back to the church»[19] the Pentecostal movement articulated an exclusive concern for its place and task in the ecclesial landscape. God’s goal with this awakening was the restoration of the Christianity of the New Testament. Barratt’s great watchword during his whole life was: “Onward to primitive Christianity”. Ok, let it be that this was a kind of “romantization” of a specific time in the history of Christianity which seems to be far more diverse than Barratt allowed it to be.[20] For him, the spiritual awakening had a task of prophetic restoration that called the churches back to lost primitive Christian ideals especially. Thus, it had to do with the whole church. Barratt wrote: «The Pentecostal awakening has a living desire to reach the spirit, mindset and practice of the first Christianity».[21]

Therefore, the Pentecostal awakening had some daring visions. It was to mirror and restore the charismatic dimension that characterized the primitive church both in forms of expression and structure.[22] This concern was central in the theological program in Byposten/Korsets Seier[23] and in the many conferences that were arranged in this period. This perspective – the charismatic dimensions within the life of the individual and the church - represented what is most likely the most important theological contribution that the Pentecostal leaders gave to other theological milieu.[24]
This was connected to the understanding of the role of Scripture as an authoritative guide and normative mal for every ecclesiological structure and praxis. In addition, the Pentecostals’ epistemology was set in a biblicistic/pietistic tradition where the goal was to attempt to present normative and empirical evidence for the doctrines and experiences of Christianity. Thus, a combination of empiricism and biblicism took place: Praxis was to have a scriptural basis and the view of the scriptures was to be experienced.

This deep foundation to Scripture hindered the Pentecostal movement from ending up as either a fanatical sect or a fundamentalist confessional ghetto.[25] The goal was to achieve an interaction between text, interpretation and experience. The strong restorational desire to regain the lost ideal of the New Testament secured the necessary proximity to Bible texts. According to the Swedish Pentecostal historian, Ulrik Josefsson, the understanding of biblical authority and normativity were of great importance in apologetics, and all of Scripture – as goal, pattern, and norm – was one of the characteristic elements that formed the Pentecostal self-understanding.[26] Barratt himself was the leader in his battle for «apostolic Christianity».

The same understanding was carried on when Barratt defended the establishment of new congregations and how the structure of mission work would be after 1930. However, it seems as though Pentecostals did not begin using the term «biblical» before the end of the first decade, but then in a way that not only was aimed at the Charismatics of the New Testament as such, but was also used in as Church political ammunition toward those ecclesial structures and forms that the Pentecostal movement viewed as being non-biblical. There could be a great deal of rhetorical power in terms such as «apostolic Christianity» and «Congregational life of the New Testament». This gave the establishment of new congregations theological validity, at the same time as it marked a divide between «us» and «them». This stimulated the tendencies we can see of Christian triumphalism which stood in a tradition with the church historical evolution ideology that placed the Pentecostal movement at the top of a rising movement of continuously greater theological revelation. This is also part of the story, which appears to be more of a challenge than of an ecumenical treasure.[27]

The instinctive question comes: Was Barratt too optimistic? Yes, definitively. But, on the other side, I appreciate his optimism. And he has in the course of time proven to be right – long after his death. In his portrait of Barratt, the author and Pentecostal historian, Martin Ski, raises the question of to what degree Pentecostalism already early in its development had «betrayed its true task and thus lost sight of this brilliant idea of awakening history: to lead the truth of baptism of the Spirit into Christianity, as a fulfillment of Joel’s prophecy».[28] He answers by citing Bloch-Hoell who in his dissertation points out that after 1920, for the Pentecostals baptism by water had possibly become more important than baptism in the Spirit. While the latter was earlier presented as the trans-confessional entranceway to the apostolic Christian life, baptism by water was now presented as the act of initiation into the visible, confessional congregation.[29] 

Ski believed that Barratt lead the thought of the personal experience of the Spirit into our communal evangelical faith. While Methodism was concerned with establishing itself as a denomination in Norway, Barratt’s main idea after his baptism in the Spirit was to create “a Spirit-filled individual”, regardless of denomination. Thus, he broke with the attitudes of religious collectivism of earlier times. The Spirit-filled individual belongs now everywhere and nowhere. A new Pentecost dawned for the individual.[30]

Ski stated that the vision of Barratt was not a new denomination of limited character, but “a baptism in Spirit and Fire” for every single human being, regardless of church, confession, race, color and nationality. «T. B. Barratt was, in 1907, back in the center of the biblical apostolate. And precisely here lies his actual, apostolic task, not that he was the founder of the Pentecostal movement».[31]

The Alliance Work
The third aspect, the Alliance Work – despite doctrinal disagreement. During this period of time, Barratt made serious practical efforts to realize what he regarded to be the Pentecostal ecumenical ideals. His strategy was to seek unity and cooperation with as many churches as possible through many different forms of “alliance” work that stimulated awakening and mission; regardless of the dogmatic positions that otherwise prevailed. All the way until the autumn of 1913 the idea lived on that one could be a Pentecostal and still belong to any Christian church. This was the background for the recommendation of an «alliance of brotherly love and tolerance […] at the same time as they all remain in their respective congregations, assemblies and communities».[32] Today we know that this was a demanding position in the long run, but it reflects an attitude which has been adopted in different variants, during the last 30 years or so. A multitude of new platforms between the churches are established, independent of strict dogmatic positioning.[33]

I think that the first Pentecostal leaders were in many ways advocates of that which characterizes modern – or postmodern – ecumenism when it is described in contrasting categories such as «unity in diversity». This is related to the understanding of the “diversities of the Spirit” and contains a systematic-theological perspective attempting to see ecclesial diversity as a pneumatological expression for that fact that while gifts, ministries and ecclesiological structures can be different, the Spirit is still the same; that reconciles Christ’s body to one (1 Chr. 12: 4–6; 12–31). Within organized ecumenism today, well founded disagreements are not valid arguments for hindering inter-confessional dialog. Christian unity is not to promote uniformity, but contribute to a clear witness to Christ amongst broad ecclesial diversity. Thus, it can promote an ecclesiology that is contextual, national and independent without breaking with the idea of ecumenism. This is in line with the characterizing feature of many Pentecostal churches in the world today. Pluralism in forms of expression, liturgy and ecclesiology has priority ahead of doctrinal hegemony and ecclesiastical unity. In fact, the world-wide church can appear «with one accord» (cf. Acts 2: 1) with a clear Trinitarian confession of Christ as Lord and savior.

The alliance position was left behind and replaced around 1915 of an opposite position. This can best be illustrated by a something written by Barratt approximately ten years after 1917: “Every member must be fully committed to Pentecostal movements lines! One cannot belong to both the Salvation Army and a Pentecostal congregation, or a Methodist church and a Pentecostal congregation – at the same time. If one is “Pentecostal” then they must be completely»! [34] That came to be a dominate attitude within the Pentecostal movement.

If we just think about this position as how we are organized within different denomination, it is one thing. But beneath the surface there was a more problematic attitude, the thoughts that we perhaps know better, have reach longer, and have seen more than the other. Barratt himself failed in his Alliance project in his claim that central concerns of Christian doctrine such as baptism and communion were not to be displayed publicly or should not be the object of debate. Everything that did not lead people to repentance and salvation was to be toned down and instead practiced within the context of the established churches and saved for certain special gatherings with this as the primary goal. 

Thus, the foundational doctrines of the Christian faith were in praxis to a great degree un-dogmatized and privatized, even though it was not necessarily Barratt’s wish to be an advocate for a theological degrading of baptism and communion. The Pentecostal movement was as well a child of an anti-sacramental and anti-liturgical stream in Anglo-American awakening Christianity. In addition, Barratt was very practically oriented, needs-focused and cooperation-directed. In the inter-confessional unity meetings, his former passion, Christiania City Mission, and the growing interest for evangelism, diaconal work, awakening and mission, gave little room for high dogmatic demonstrations.

However, Barratt was no theological relativist. But in the alliance models he presented in the period between 1910 and 1913, it was clear that his main focus was to establish a “spiritual fellowship” and cooperate with as many “friends of Pentecost” as possible in different churches. He attempted to establish an unofficial, alternative structure for cooperation that could run parallel with the established church structure. One could imagine the possibility of Pentecostal experiences melting Christians together – not as churches – but as fellowship, as koinonia. In this, two concerns were dealt with together: Friends of Pentecost in different denominations could come in contact with the spiritual theology that they had acquired a taste for and that they now were searching for, but normally could not find room for in their own churches. At the same time, a cross-confessional Pentecostal union would cause spiritual renewal in the churches without denominations and local congregations as such being weakened or split. This should secure both the unity of the church and the need for spiritual revitalization.

Following this line of thinking, it can be argued that Pentecostalism’s first leaders passed on a view of the relationship between charismatics, dogmatics and church structure that was very close to being the dominating perspective when the Charismatic movement affected the classical churches over 50 years later. It was able to protect the most central concerns of the Charismatic movement in confrontation with the established church structure in a more fruitful way than the Pentecostal awakening’s alliance ideals were able to do, especially after 1916.

When Pentecostalism’s leaders had to, of necessity, take greater responsibility for those who had experiences in line with the Pentecostal’s message, the bottom fell out of the alliance model. After Barratt, along with his wife, was baptized in Stockholm in the autumn of 1913, the Pentecostal movement in Norway was seen as a Baptist-oriented baptism by water and congregational movement within a relatively clearly articulated dogmatic framework. This, in and of itself, meant that baptism and communion could no longer be parked on the doctrinal sidelines, but in the future had to be a part of the theological reality – and challenge – that is the starting point for responsible ecumenical conversations between churches.

Developments within ecumenical thinking have led to the recognition that dogmatic awareness not appearing as a hindrance for ecumenical interaction. It is rather a precondition for the theological order that must be the basis for both the more loosely structured alliance ecumenism and that which is expressed through Church-ecumenism in a more organized manner.

Unity in Christ
The fourth and lastly aspect: Unity in Christ and love for all brothers and sisters in the faith. As a consequence of the other theological insights that the leaders of the Pentecostal movement in this period passed on, the idea of the inner unity of all Christians was highly focused. In the winter of 1907, Byposten says that «The power of Pentecost melts all hearts together in brotherly agreement and shows us that we are one in Christ».[35] The pioneers of Pentecostalism believed – referring to the prayer for unity in John 17, 21 – that «awakening in the 20th century shows that there is a spiritual union among believers, the foremost sign of this is love and the blood of Jesus». [36] The awakening’s «particular characteristic» was to «join hearts that long had been divided and make Christ the center».[37]He believed at this time that the most important goal of the Pentecostal awakening was to contribute to fulfill Jesus’ prayer that his disciples should be one, since all were baptized to be one body (1 Cor 12:13). According to Barratt, unity in the Spirit is «one of the wonders of grace during this awakening» Barratt.[38] The gift of the Spirit given on the day of Pentecost is always «a baptism in love», Barratt proclaimed.[39]

The period up until 1915 was characterized by an inclusive love language because the ecumenical dream that was presented already in 1907 was still alive: «Christ’s Spirit unites us in inner brotherly love».[40] The theological insight of unity and love between all believers was anchored in Christ’s work and seen as the work of the Spirit.[41] This also made for a language influenced by reconciliation and sympathy.

But after 1916, the idea of unity was oriented around ecclesiology and conditioned of a corporal theological understanding, not the least when it came to baptism, communion and congregational order. Unity in Christ became unity in faith. Only those who agree are one. It is now our job to reflect upon these visions that were such a vital part of the Pentecostal awakening the first ten foundational years. Here, the ecumenical visions are especially challenging and stimulating. Much of the increased cooperation and deeper understanding of each other’s faith traditions, and a stronger desire to cooperate in the spreading of the Kingdom of God, lived in the pioneers of the dawning Pentecostalism as a radical vision for the growth of Christianity in general.


Barratt, Tomas Ball. Barratts Minneutgave (Barratt’s Memory Edition), No 3. Oslo: Filadelfiaforlaget AS, 1950.
———. "De kristnes enhet (The Unity of the Christians)." In Minneutgave (Barratt's Memory Edition) No 1, 65-86. Oslo: Filadelfiaforlaget, 1949.
———. "Urkristendommen gjenopplivet (Ancient Christianity Revived)." In T. B. Barratts Minneutgave (Barratt's Memory Edition), No 2 edited by Martin Ski. Oslo: Filadelfiaforlaget, 1949.
Bloch-Hoell, Nils. The Pentecostal Movement: Its Origin, Development and Distinctive Character. Oslo: Universitetsforlaget, 1964.
Davies, J. G. The Early Church. A History of Its First Five Centuries. Grand Rapids, Mich.: Baker, 1965.
Dunn, James D. G. Jesus and the Spirit: A Study of the Religious and Charismatic Experience of Jesus and the First Christians as Reflected in the New Testament. Grand Rapids, Mich.: Eerdmans, 1997.
———. Unity and Diversity in the New Testament: An Inquiry into the Character of Earliest Christianity. London: SCM Press, 2006.
Gooder, Paula "In Search of the Early ‘Church’: The New Testament and the Development of Christian Communities." In The Routledge Companion of the Christian Church, edited by Gerard and Lewis S. Mudge Mannion, 9-27. New York: Routledge, 2008.
Hassing, Arne Religion og makt: Metodismen i norsk historie. (Religion and Power: Methodism in the History of Norway). Trondheim: Tapir, 1991.
Hegertun, Terje. "Bridge over Troubled Water? Rebaptism in a Nordic Context — Reflections and Proposals." PNEUMA: The Journal of the Society for Pentecostal Studies 35:2 (2013): 235-252.
———. Det Brodersind som pinseaanden nødvendigvis maa føde: Analyse av økumeniske posisjoner i norsk pinsebevegelse med henblikk på utviklingen av en pentekostal økumenikk og fornyelse av økumeniske arbeidsformer (The Mind of Brotherhood to Which the Spirit of Pentecost with Necessity Must Give Birth: An Analysis of Ecumenical Positions in the Pentecostal Movement of Norway, Regarding Generating a Pentecostal Ecumenism and a Renewal of Ecumenical Methods). Trondheim: Tapir akademisk, 2009.
———. "Pinsebevegelse og økumenikk (Pentecostalism and Ecumenism)." In Med Kristus til jordens ender: Festskrift til Tormod Engelsviken (With Christ to the End of the World: Essays in Honor of Tormod Engelsviken), edited by Kjell Olav Sannes and Egil Grandhagen, 155-164. Trondheim: Tapir Akademisk Forlag, 2008.
Hollenweger, Walter J. Pentecostalism: Origins and Developments Worldwide. Peabody, Mass.: Hendrickson Publishers, 1997.
Josefsson, Ulrik. Liv och över nog: Den tidiga pingströrelsens spiritualitet (Life and Overflow: The Early Spirituality of the Swedish Pentecostal Movement). Bibliotheca Theologiae Practicae. Skellefteå: Artos, 2005.
Kaufman, John. "Diverging Trajectories or Emerging Mainstream? Unity and Diversity in Second Century Christianity." In Among Jews, Gentiles and Christians in Antiquity and the Middle Ages: Studies in Honour of Professor Oskar Skarsaune, edited by Reidar Hvalvik and John Kaufman, 113-128. Trondheim: Tapir Academic Press, 2011.
Land, Steven J. Pentecostal Spirituality: A Passion for the Kingdom. Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 1993.
Nelson, Douglas J. "For Such a Time as This: The Story of Bishop William J. Seymour and the Azusa Street Revival." University of Birmingham, 1981.
Robeck, Cecil M. The Azusa Street Mission and Revival: The Birth of the Global Pentecostal Movement. Nashville, Tenn.: Nelson Reference & Electronic, 2006.
———. "William J. Seymour and 'the Bible Evidence'." In Initial Evidence: Historical and Biblical Perspectives on the Pentecostal Doctrine of Spirit Baptism, edited by Gary B. McGee. Peabody, MA: : Hendrickson, 1991.
Ski, Martin. T. B. Barratt, Døpt i Ånd og ild. (T. B. Barratt: Baptized in Spirit and Fire). Oslo: Filadelfiaforlaget AS, 1979.


[1] Thomas Ball Barratt (1862–1940) is signified as the founder of the Pentecostal movement in Scandinavia as well as on the European continent. He was an earlier profiled leader within the Methodist church of Norway.

[2] Steven J. Land, Pentecostal Spirituality: A Passion for the Kingdom (Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 1993).

[3] For a broader presentation of both Barratt and the ecumenical history and development within Norwegian Pentecostalism, see Terje Hegertun, Det Brodersind Som Pinseaanden Nødvendigvis Maa Føde: Analyse Av Økumeniske Posisjoner I Norsk Pinsebevegelse Med Henblikk På Utviklingen Av En Pentekostal Økumenikk Og Fornyelse Av Økumeniske Arbeidsformer (the Mind of Brotherhood to Which the Spirit of Pentecost with Necessity Must Give Birth: An Analysis of Ecumenical Positions in the Pentecostal Movement of Norway, Regarding Generating a Pentecostal Ecumenism and a Renewal of Ecumenical Methods) (Trondheim: Tapir akademisk, 2009). See also "Pinsebevegelse Og Økumenikk (Pentecostalism and Ecumenism)," in Med Kristus Til Jordens Ender: Festskrift Til Tormod Engelsviken (with Christ to the End of the World: Essays in Honor of Tormod Engelsviken), ed. Kjell Olav Sannes and Egil Grandhagen (Trondheim: Tapir Akademisk Forlag, 2008). And a recent ecumenical oriented reflection about the sensitive question of re-baptism in "Bridge over Troubled Water? Rebaptism in a Nordic Context — Reflections and Proposals," PNEUMA: The Journal of the Society for Pentecostal Studies 35:2 (2013).

[4] The Apostolic Faith, Los Angeles 1:1 1906: 4.

[5] In the case of Barratt, he made an extensive use of his own periodical, Byposten, or Korsets Seier (from 1910). The first years he published reports of revival tidings from all over the world. Later on he published countless articles criticizing for ex. the practice of infant baptism and various aspect of the state/church relation.

[6] Walter J. Hollenweger, Pentecostalism: Origins and Developments Worldwide (Peabody, Mass.: Hendrickson Publishers, 1997).

[7] These cross-Christian conferences were held in Sunderland, Hamburg, London, Mühlheim am Ruhr, Zürich, Christiania, Amsterdam, and in Örebro, Sweden, see EPTA Bulletin 6/1987. The conferences reflect a considerable theological breadth, effected by leaders which had received their theological competency within their receptive church traditions. In one of these conferences these leaders composed a serious response to the notorious “Die Berliner Erklärung” from 15th September 1909, source: http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/
_Erkl%C3%A4rung_%28Religion%29 See also Byposten 15:10, 1909:1.

[8] Korsets Seier 1:11 1910: 1.

[9] It was as Methodist Barratt developed his ecumenical ideals. See the The Book of Discipline: «As part of the church universal, The United Methodist Church believes that the Lord of the church is calling Christians everywhere to strive toward unity; and therefore it will seek, and work for, unity at all levels of church life» (article 6, Ecumenical Relations).

[10] Korsets Seier 15:10 1911: 156.

[11] Arne Hassing, Religion Og Makt: Metodismen I Norsk Historie. [Religion and Power: Methodism in the History of Norway] (Trondheim: Tapir, 1991), 114.

[12] Byposten 12:1 1907:2.

[13] Douglas J. Nelson, "For Such a Time as This: The Story of Bishop William J. Seymour and the Azusa Street Revival" (University of Birmingham, 1981), 12. See also Cecil M. Robeck, "William J. Seymour and 'the Bible Evidence'," in Initial Evidence: Historical and Biblical Perspectives on the Pentecostal Doctrine of Spirit Baptism, ed. Gary B. McGee (Peabody, MA: : Hendrickson, 1991), 72–95.

[14] Nelson, "For Such a Time as This: The Story of Bishop William J. Seymour and the Azusa Street Revival," 201–208.

[15] Cecil M. Robeck, The Azusa Street Mission and Revival: The Birth of the Global Pentecostal Movement (Nashville, Tenn.: Nelson Reference & Electronic, 2006), 314.

[16] Tomas Ball Barratt, Barratts Minneutgave (Barratt’s Memory Edition), No 3 (Oslo: Filadelfiaforlaget AS, 1950), 244.

[17] Martin Ski, T. B. Barratt, Døpt I Ånd Og Ild. (T. B. Barratt: Baptized in Spirit and Fire) (Oslo: Filadelfiaforlaget AS, 1979), 205, 218.

[18] Byposten 6:10, 1906: 86. See also the first edition of The Apostolic Faith and the headline: “Los Angeles Being Visited by a Revival of Bible Salvation and Pentecost as recorded in the Book of Acts”, 1:1, Sept. 1906.

[19] Byposten 17:11 1906; 97.

[20] See the following books: J. G. Davies, The Early Church. A History of Its First Five Centuries (Grand Rapids, Mich.: Baker, 1965). John Kaufman, "Diverging Trajectories or Emerging Mainstream? Unity and Diversity in Second Century Christianity," in Among Jews, Gentiles and Christians in Antiquity and the Middle Ages: Studies in Honour of Professor Oskar Skarsaune, ed. Reidar Hvalvik and John Kaufman (Trondheim: Tapir Academic Press, 2011). Paula Gooder, "In Search of the Early ‘Church’: The New Testament and the Development of Christian Communities," in The Routledge Companion of the Christian Church, ed. Gerard and Lewis S. Mudge Mannion (New York: Routledge, 2008).

[21] Tomas Ball Barratt, "Urkristendommen Gjenopplivet (Ancient Christianity Revived)," in T. B. Barratts Minneutgave (Barratt's Memory Edition), No 2 ed. Martin Ski (Oslo: Filadelfiaforlaget, 1949), 231–232.

[22] For the charismatic structure of the primitive church, see James D. G. Dunn, Jesus and the Spirit: A Study of the Religious and Charismatic Experience of Jesus and the First Christians as Reflected in the New Testament (Grand Rapids, Mich.: Eerdmans, 1997). Unity and Diversity in the New Testament: An Inquiry into the Character of Earliest Christianity (London: SCM Press, 2006).

[23] In an editorial, the newspaper says that Byposten has presented that «The gifts of the Spirit (1 Cor 12:13) are just as much for our time as for the apostolic times» (Korsets Seier 1/1 1910: 1).

[24] A selection of citations from Byposten during the period 1906-1910 shows how comprehensive this argumentation was: Byposten 1906: 6:10, p. 86; 20:10, p. 1; 3:11, p. 95; 17:11, p. 47; 1:12, p. 103; 22:12, p. 106. Byposten 1907: 12:1, p. 3 and p. 6; 9:2, p. 17 and p. 18; 23:3, p 34; 20:4, p. 1.

[25] See also this perspective various places in Nils Bloch-Hoell, The Pentecostal Movement: Its Origin, Development and Distinctive Character (Oslo: Universitetsforlaget, 1964).

[26] Ulrik Josefsson, Liv Och Över Nog: Den Tidiga Pingströrelsens Spiritualitet (Life and Overflow: The Early Spirituality of the Swedish Pentecostal Movement), Bibliotheca Theologiae Practicae (Skellefteå: Artos, 2005), 189 f.

[27] Korsets Seier 1:8 1931: 7.

[28] Ski, T. B. Barratt, Døpt I Ånd Og Ild. (T. B. Barratt: Baptized in Spirit and Fire), 197.

[29] Bloch-Hoell, The Pentecostal Movement: Its Origin, Development and Distinctive Character.

[30] Ski, T. B. Barratt, Døpt I Ånd Og Ild. (T. B. Barratt: Baptized in Spirit and Fire), 12.

[31] Ibid., 13.

[32] Korsets Seier 15:7 1913: 106. For an opposite position, see Korsets Seier 1:3 1913: 43.

[33] The new way of thinking within the Norwegian Pentecostal movement from 2000 came to the fore when the Pentecostals in 2006 became member of the Norwegian Christian Council. To some degree their new arguments followed the ecumenical ideals from the years before 1913. “We are able to sit at the same table as the Catholic church, not because we agree in all of their dogmatic positions, but because we are Christians together and because we share many of the same values and have concurrent approaches in many issues,” was the refrain which gained the broadest support.

[34] Korsets Seier 30:1 1926: 1.

[35] Byposten 9:3 1907: 30.

[36] Byposten 15:1 1909: 6.

[37] Tomas Ball Barratt, "De kristnes enhet (The Unity of the Christians)," in Minneutgave (Barratt's Memory Edition) No 1 (Oslo: Filadelfiaforlaget, 1949), 141.

[38] Ibid., 142.

[39] Byposten 6/4 1907.

[40] Korsets Seier 1:1 1911: 2.

[41] Byposten 24:10 1908: 85.