Saturday, May 20, 2023

Tim Keller, 1950-2023


Last night, Manong asked, "Did you hear about Tim Keller?" Tim was one of our favorite preachers. He was diagnosed with advanced pancreatic cancer. He had been doing fairly well and had even published a book in the interim. Until recently, the cancer had made a comeback. A Twitter update mentioned that Tim was transferred to hospice care. 

This morning, I wake up to the news of Dr. Tim Keller's passing. I mourn the loss of a friend and mentor, although I never got the chance to meet him face to face. 

I've been listening to Tim's preaching on my long drives to work. I follow the Gospel in Life podcast and listen to at least two episodes weekly. I can recite to you the opening and closing spiels, even the short commercial segment that interrupts the preaching. Tim's exposition from the pulpit, recorded from many years ago when he was senior pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church, mined the inexhaustible riches of God's Word. I'd describe his preaching style as simple but not simplistic. His gift and skill was to talk about the glorious truths of Jesus Christ in accessible, sometimes poetic words that speak to the mind and heart. He pointed his New York City congregation and his listeners from all over the world to the Lord Jesus Christ always. He defended the Christian faith against atheism, post-modernism, and similar worldviews. He solidified my belief that Christianity is a faith that requires, and has undergone and withstood, deep intellectual scrutiny through these years. I'd end up grateful for having my mind and heart opened to the powerful, soul-saving gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. 


His book, Walking with God Through Pain and Suffering, ministered to me deeply during my father's passing. To this day I reread and study and profit much from it. He wrote in page 308: 

Suffering puts its fingers on good things that have become too important to us. We must respond to suffering not ordinarily by jettisoning those loved things but by turning to God and loving him more, and by putting our roots down deeper into him. You will never really understand your heart when things are going well. It is only when things go badly that you can see it truly. And that's because it is only when suffering comes that you realize who is the true God and what are the false gods of your lives.

I grieve and celebrate at the same time. His last words were, "There is no downside for me leaving, not in the slightest." 

I will miss you, Pastor Tim. But I believe, in my heart of hearts, that I will see you soon, in that great, grand reunion of God's sons and daughters whose sins have been washed by the blood of Jesus Christ on the cross.

Image: Courtesy of Redeemer Presbyterian Church / Edits by Rick Szuecs



Blogger Unknown said...


Wed May 24, 10:42:00 AM GMT+8  

Post a Comment

<< Home