I am sure you have heard by now that Tim Keller went to be with the Lord yesterday. The Keller family shared this on social media: “Timothy J. Keller, husband, father, grandfather, mentor, friend, pastor, and scholar died this morning at home. 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.”
There are, of course, many tributes in his honor. Christianity Today’s headline is Died: Tim Keller, New York City Pastor Who Modeled Winsome Witness. The Gospel Coalition has an official notice and obituary and also a number of tributes from friends and colleagues, including this lovely one from D.A. Carson and this video full of reflections. Michael Kruger’s was helpful in addressing Keller’s famous winsomeness. The New York Times also ran an obituary.
(Yesterday on the blog: Lessons for a Life of Joyful Eagerness)
Harry Reeder passed away a couple of days ago and I was thankful to read Al Mohler’s tribute to the man.
I was also thankful to read Kevin DeYoung’s expression of gratitude for Reeder’s life, influence, and friendship.
Though this was written before Keller’s death, I appreciate its affirmation of a wondrous truth: that Jesus is more eager to see us than we are to see him.
“’These all died in faith, not having received the things promised,’ the writer admits. But notice their vision: ‘Having seen them and greeted them from afar,’ they ‘acknowledged that they were strangers and exiles on the earth’ (Hebrews 11:13). Their hearts smiled as they bowed into the grave because they saw promises coming. Promises more powerful than death.”
Sinclair Ferguson has a characteristically good answer to this question.
This is such a precious truth: you cannot out-sin the cross.
One of the great joys and responsibilities of the Christian life is to open your Bible with others and to show them what God says. There is way more ministering to be done in the church than can be done by paid pastors or even by elders