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Tim Keller Loses His Battle With Cancer

by | Sat, May 20 2023

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High profile theologian, pastor and acclaimed Evangelical author Tim Keller has died at the age of 72 following a three-year battle against stage-4 pancreatic cancer,

“Timothy J. Keller, husband, father, grandfather, mentor, friend, pastor, and scholar died this morning at home,” his son Michael shared on social media.

“Dad waited until he was alone with Mom. She kissed him on the forehead, and he breathed his last breath. We take comfort in some of his last words, ‘There is no downside for me leaving, not in the slightest.’ See you soon, Dad.”

When Tim Keller was sent home from hospital and put into hospice care earlier this week, Michael wrote:

“He has expressed many times through prayer his desire to go home to be with Jesus. His family is very sad because we all wanted more time, but we know he has very little at this point.”

The Keller family quoted the pastor as saying: “I’m thankful for my family, that loves me. I’m thankful for the time God has given me, but I’m ready to see Jesus. I can’t wait to see Jesus. Send me home.”

Pastor Keller began receiving treatment at the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, Maryland in 2020 and he said that it had eradicated 99% of the tumours.

But this year, more tumours were discovered and ‘complications’ resulted from his latest round of treatment.

Faithwire reported that Pastor Keller admitted his cancer battle had driven him and his wife “to seek God’s face as we never have before.”

In a message to his social media followers he wrote: “He is giving us more of his sensed presence, more freedom from our besetting sins, more dependence on his Word — things that we had sought for years, but only under these circumstances are we finding them.”

The Christian Post reports that after receiving a master’s degree in divinity from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary and a doctorate in ministry from Westminster Theological Seminary, Tim Keller served as pastor of West Hopewell Presbyterian Church in Virginia, an associate professor at Westminster, and director of Mercy Ministries for the Presbyterian Church in America.

In 1989, he founded the Redeemer Presbyterian Church in the heart of New York City which grew to a congregation of around 5,000.

He chaired and co-founded Redeemer City to City, an organisation that helps to launch new churches in New York and other cities, and provides resources on how to minister in major urban environments.

Keller authored multiple books which sold more than 3 million copies, including the 2008 bestseller The Reason for God: Belief in an Age of Skepticism — an apologetics work which tackled  tough questions like why God allows suffering and sends the unsaved to Hell.

Other books included: The Freedom of Self Forgetfulness, The Meaning of Marriage, The Prodigal God, The Songs of Jesus, and The Prodigal Prophet.

The Redeemer Presbyterian Church said in a statement: “We are forever grateful for his leadership, heart, and dedication to sharing the love of Christ with others. While we will miss his presence here, we know he is rejoicing with his Saviour in heaven.”

“Tim Keller was a once-in-a-century sort of person. He will be remembered among this generation’s most effective Christian pastors, apologists, and evangelists,” shared The Gospel Coalition’s interim president, Sandy Willson.

Former US President George W. Bush said, “Tim Keller was one of America’s foremost Christian thinkers and preachers. He was a great church builder, a prolific author, and a profound philosopher. I’m fortunate to have gotten to know him. And I’m one of many who is blessed to have learned from Dr. Keller’s teachings and benefitted from his compassion.”

Tim Keller is survived by his wife Kathy, three sons, Jonathan Keller, Michael Keller and David Keller; a sister; and seven grandchildren.