Renowned pastor and author Tim Keller passed away on Friday, May 19, following a three-year battle with pancreatic cancer. Keller was 72.
Born on September 23, 1950, Keller received his education from Westminster Theological Seminary, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary and Bucknell University. He was the chairman and co-founder of The Gospel Coalition and Redeemer City to City. He was also the Senior pastor at Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York City and the author of nearly three dozen books. Keller stepped down from his senior pastor role in 2017 to focus his attention on his non-profit organization, Redeemer City to City.
Amid Keller’s passing, faith leaders are lauding him for his work in urban ministry and life as a man of God.
Harvest Christian Fellowship pastor Greg Laurie expressed his grief over Keller’s death in a tweet, writing, “Very sad to hear of the passing of Tim Keller today. He is now with the Lord. Cathe and I had the privilege of hearing him speak at his home Church in NYC a number of times and met him briefly as well. Tim Keller was a very gifted communicator of God’s word. He made the teaching of Scripture understandable and was a real gift to the Church,” Laurie said. “He will be missed. Let’s be praying for his wife, Kathy, and members of his family as they deal with this tremendous loss,” he added.
Very sad to hear of the passing of @timkellernyc today. He is is now with the Lord. Cathe and I had the privilege of hearing him speak at his home Church in NYC a number of times and met him briefly as well. Tim Keller was a very gifted communicator of God’s word. He made the… pic.twitter.com/7mYKnsSJbS— Greg Laurie (@greglaurie) May 19, 2023
Southern Baptists Theological Seminary President Albert Mohler urged his followers to pray for Keller’s family and congregation, writing, “Praying for the family of Tim Keller and for the congregation he so dearly loved.” He added, “His confident hope in Christ endured to the end.”
Praying for the family of Tim Keller and for the congregation he so dearly loved. His confident hope in Christ endured to the end.— Albert Mohler (@albertmohler) May 19, 2023
North American Mission Board VP of Research & Resource Development Trevin Wax penned an article for The Gospel Coalition highlighting the life and influence of Keller.
It feels a bit like a great light has slipped beyond the horizon. It’s a sunset that has long been coming, and yet it still feels strangely sudden.https://t.co/5yvkdq4Hcp— Trevin Wax (@TrevinWax) May 19, 2023
“This morning, Tim Keller died after a three-year battle with pancreatic cancer. It feels a bit like a great light has slipped beyond the horizon. It’s a sunset that has long been coming, and yet it still feels strangely sudden,” Wax wrote.
“No doubt Tim would raise an eyebrow and cast a bemused smirk at any suggestion he be compared in any way to the sun… If there’s anything you’d take from his work and writing, it’s that there’s a main character in history, and none of us are it: God is at the center of all things, and Jesus is the pioneer and perfecter of our faith. Tim wasn’t about himself; he was about the Savior he adored, and he cared about reaching a lost world in need of salvation. He reflected well the Jesus he loved, but that’s one of the reasons his loss does feel like a light has flickered out,” he continued.
Wax went on to highlight Keller’s profound influence on him through his writing, reading suggestions, and personal counsel.
“From us to Tim, Farewell. From the Lord and His angels, Welcome,” Wax concluded.
Christian Rapper Lecrae issued a short statement following the news of Keller’s admittance into hospice care, writing, “True story I’ve only been star-struck by Michael Jordan, Jay-Z, and Tim Keller.” He added, “There are things he’s shared that have changed me forever.”
True story I’ve only been star struck by Michael Jordan, Jay-Z, and Tim Keller. There are things he’s shared that have changed me forever. https://t.co/5X5TxiXK1L— Lecrae (@lecrae) May 18, 2023
Christianity Today Editor-in-Chief Russell Moore highlighted Keller’s influence on the Church, writing on Twitter, “The death of Tim Keller is an incalculable loss to the church, the world, to those of us who loved him, those of us he helped in our darkest hours.” Moore continued, “This is gain for Tim, now in the presence of Christ. He need no longer explain the reason for God, just to enjoy him forever.”
"We love you, friend. RIP, and we will see you on the other side of the Jordan," Moore concluded.
We love you friend. RIP, and we will see you on the other side of the Jordan.— Russell Moore (@drmoore) May 19, 2023
Keller is survived by his wife, Kathy, and their three sons, David, Michael and Jonathan.
Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Hicco Dodi FC
Kayla Koslosky has been the Editor of ChristianHeadlines.com since 2018. She has B.A. degrees in English and History and previously wrote for and was the managing editor of the Yellow Jacket newspaper. She has also contributed to IBelieve.com and Crosswalk.com.