In Memory of Tim Keller

This letter was written by Dr. Peter Lillback shortly after the death of a cherished friend, Timothy Keller.

Friends of Westminster,

I write to you with a heavy yet hopeful heart. Our dear brother Timothy Keller has entered into the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ. In his life and ministry, Tim fought the good fight, finished the race, and kept the faith (2 Tim. 4:7). While this is a loss for the church militant, it is a wonderful gain for the church triumphant. “Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of the saints” (Psalm 116:15).

Tim was a treasured friend of Westminster. Not only did he undertake theological studies at Westminster, he also, for a time, served on its faculty. His experiences in ministry and education impressed upon him the importance of the gospel for heart transformation and the need for such transformation in urban settings. Tim was faithful in this calling, and was a blessing to many through his writing and teaching ministry. Truly, he was like the man planted by the rivers of water, bringing forth fruit in season (Psalm 1:3). Because of his rich devotion to Christ, his heart was like a highway to Zion, bringing flowing waters in the dry Valley of Baca (Psalm 84:6). Indeed, Tim’s service to Christ in New York City at Redeemer was a remarkable testimony of this. He daily proclaimed the truth that for every tear of repentance there is an ocean of grace. And for every saint made righteous by the blood of Christ is a heavenly rest.

In recent days, Tim said to his family that “I am thankful for all the people who have prayed for me over the years. I am thankful for my family, that loves me. I am thankful for the time God has given me, but I am ready…to see Jesus. I cannot wait to see Jesus. Send me home.”In these words, Tim has echoed the Psalmist, who says “My soul yearns for the courts of the Lord, my heart and flesh cry out for the living God” (Psalm 84:2).

Tim no longer yearns for these courts of the Lord, but rests in them. He shall dwell with His Savior now and forever more.Please join us in prayer for Tim’s dear wife Kathy and their children, as they mourn the loss of a husband, father, and faithful follower of Christ.

In Christ, the hope of glory,

Dr. Peter A. Lillback
Westminster Theological Seminary

Rev. Dr. Peter Lillback (PhD, Westminster Theological Seminary) is president and professor of historical theology and church history at Westminster Theological Seminary. He also serves as the president emeritus and founder of The Providence Forum and senior editor of the new Unio cum Christo: An International Journal of Reformed Theology and Life.

Partner with Westminster Theological Seminary and our mission 


Get Westminster Magazine delivered to your inbox

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.