Joshua Ryan Butler

Joshua Ryan Butler loves helping people who wrestle with tough topics of the Christian faith. His breakout book The Skeletons in God’s Closet: The Mercy of Hell, the Surprise of Judgment, the Hope of Holy War (Thomas Nelson: October 2014), was named “New Author of the Year” finalist by the Evangelical Christian Publisher’s Association and “Best Popular Theological Book of 2014” by Christianity Today contributor Andrew Wilson. His work has achieved critical acclaim from both conservative and progressive sides of the theological spectrum, including his most recent: The Pursuing God: A Reckless, Irrational, Obsessed Love That’s Dying to Bring Us Home (Thomas Nelson: May 2016).

Joshua is a pastor at Imago Dei Community (Portland, OR), where in addition to preaching and teaching, he oversees the church's city ministries in areas like foster care, human trafficking and homelessness and develops international partnerships in areas like clean water, HIV-support and church planting. This perspective helps his speaking and writing “hit pavement,” connecting rich theology with the down-to-earth realities of our world.

Joshua's wife Holly, daughter Aiden, and sons Torin and Jake enjoy spending time with friends over great meals and exploring their beautiful little patch of the world in the Pacific Northwest.  

Topics Include
Tough Questions I God's Pursuit I Justice Ministries
Possible Formats
Keynote I Sermon I 3-Hr Seminar

Past Engagements

  • Cru National Staff Conference (Denver, CO)
  • Organic Outreach Conference (Monterey, CA)
  • Re:Generation Conference (San Francisco, CA)
  • Redemption Church (Phoenix, AZ)
  • Reality SF (San Francisco, CA)
  • NorthWay Church (Pittsburgh, PA)
  • Vintage Faith Church (Santa Cruz, CA)
  • Bridgetown Church (Portland, OR)

Travel Info

Departing From:
Portland, OR



Current times demand fresh voices that speak to the complexity of our culture’s issues with a historic framework and theological depth. Too often theological and historical depth is communicated in language that is inaccessible for most trying to navigate these issues. The situations we find ourselves in require translators who employ theological reflection that is historically rooted but contemporarily applied. Joshua Ryan Butler embodies this skill as a voice for today. He is orthodox, contextual, provocative and humble. The church I lead, Redemption Arizona, regularly brings Joshua in to speak and we are bettered by his helpful voice.
— Tyler Johnson Lead Pastor, Redemption Church Arizona
Over the past few years we have brought Joshua Ryan Butler in to speak in a variety of settings, ranging from the Organic Outreach Conferences to church services and seminars at Shoreline. He is consistently effective, passionate, and appreciated by those who hear him communicate complex truths from Scripture in ways that engage the mind and move the heart. He is profoundly authentic and a gifted thinker. Joshua has a unique ability to take complex and challenging theological topics and help people find new insights and fresh ways of living out the teaching of the Bible.
— Dr. Kevin G. and Sherry Harney, Founders of Organic Outreach International, Leaders of Shoreline Community Church, and Authors