After a 3 year battle with pancreatic cancer, Tim Keller is now with the Savior he spoke so much about.
As a young pastor, I remember devouring hours and hours of Tim Keller messages on YouTube. He spoke to a generation about how the church could change in a good way. But what has stood out the most in my mind was the first Gospel Coalition Conference I attended in Chicago. That was the first time I heard Dr. Keller speak in person. I remember a man who spoke with a soft and kind voice, but still managed to captivate the entire room. The depths of theology in every sentence was astounding, but he communicated in such a way that the newest of believers could understand.
Many will speak of Tim Keller’s intelligence and great theology, but what I remember most about Dr. Keller is that he loved Jesus, he loved his wife, and he loved the Church.
“You don’t fall into love. You commit to it. Love says, ‘I will be there no matter what.'” – Tim Keller
1) He Loved Jesus
There is no doubt in my mind that Tim Keller crafted every talk around the idea that he loved Jesus and wanted you to love Him too. In academic circles, the man could hold his own. The heartbeat of his message was never how smart he was, but that Jesus is the answer to all our problems. It is this idea that helped Dr Keller plant a thriving church in the heart of one of the most eclectic cities in the world, New York.
2) He Loved His Wife
The book that I still direct new couples to as well as couples who need help is Tim Keller’s book, The Meaning of Marriage. Dr. Keller wrote this book with his wife Kathy. What the book taught me was that the Kellers were flawed people, but that their love for God moved them to love each other more. The words still resonate in my mind that my marriage is not to make me happy, but to make me holy. God has used this book to help move my marriage forward as well as the marriages of thousands more.
3) He Loved the Church
As a fellow pastor and church planter, I found a connection with Dr. Keller’s love for the church. Whether you read his textbook Center Church, or his book Every Good Endeavor, Keller’s focus was to remind the church to be the church. Ministry is not just the job of the pastor but we are ALL called to minister. (Ephesians 4:12) No matter if your work is for a Christian organization, a church, or a secular business, your identity is a follower of Jesus, so serve well wherever you are.
Today, we remember the man, God’s servant, Timothy Keller.