Teaching biblical truths is Joel Butler’s passion. The Sandestin resident believes that diligent study will reward anyone who “chases truth.”
“Bible truths are unique,” Butler told The Sun. “Whereas since God reveals Himself through the things that He has created, He reveals unknown things about Himself, and His plan for the creation, through the truths of the scripture.”
Written under the pen name Joel Zao, Butler’s book evolved from a Bible study group from 2006-2009 in Niceville where he was the discussion facilitator. From that study on Paul’s letter to the Romans, “Chasing Truth” was born.
“At the time the group met and the book was being drafted, my wife and I were experiencing a devastating financial meltdown coinciding with the bubble bursting of the real estate market,” Butler said. “Since the book deals somewhat with being a believing overcomer through the study of God's Word, I chose a pen name based on the realities of life. Zao is the Greek word for living.”
The first eight chapters of Paul’s letter to the Romans are discussed in detail in “Chasing Truth,” with a view to aiding those who read it to find the truth they earnestly seek.
“There are two very distinct truths about God that are revealed in Paul's letter to the Romans — justification by faith and the reconciliation of all humanity in the sacrifice of God's Son,” Butler said.
The sequel to “Chasing Truth” will be the second half of Romans, chapters 9-16, and will focus on the “new life” victory of living with others according to the master plan as outlined in the letter to the Romans.
Butler has participated in many Bible study groups over a 30-year period, and now speaks at various gatherings.
“I have been meeting with a small group in South Walton as we seek together ‘The Victory of the New Life,’” Butler said. “It is named after my two granddaughters, Nicole (victory), and Renee (new life), and is in the formative phase. Anyone who is interested in seeking the Kingdom of God in ‘community’ is welcome.”
On Tuesdays from 10 a.m. to noon, Butler can be found at Christiano’s in Santa Rosa Beach. Now in its third year, the group, studying God’s teaching about community, is sponsored by a local, independent church planting ministry, Robert Curtis’ NuZoe Publishing, the publisher of the e version of “Chasing Truth.”
“I have been honored to teach God’s word to others, attempting to put into words that express the most accurate meaning of what is provided in the Bible,” Butler said. “Chasing truth, in my opinion, is one of life’s highest privileges. Finding it is a glorious reward.”
“Chasing Truth” is available at christianbook.com, cokesbury.com and amazon.com, where a Kindle version is available.