Timothy James Keller, evangelical pastor, theologian and author of several best-selling books, died Friday May 19, at the age of 72. The man whose fame had long since crossed American borders had advanced pancreatic cancer, diagnosed in the summer of 2020.
His passing was announced by his son, Michael Keller, citing his last words. “There is no downside to my departure, not the least”said the pastor in his last moments. “I am grateful for the time God has given me, but I am ready to see Jesusconfided Timothy Keller a few days earlier to his family. I can’t wait to see Jesus. Send me home. »
Many American Christian personalities reacted to the death of the theologian, in the forefront of which George W. Bush. The former President of the United States considered himself ” lucky “ to have known the New York pastor. “And I am one of the many people who have been blessed with the teachings of Timothy Keller and benefited from his compassion”he added.
At the service of city dwellers
Born in 1950, this native of Pennsylvania built his reputation by founding in 1989 the Presbyterian Church of the Redeemer, a megachurch in the heart of Manhattan. Originally attended by around 50 faithful, the church had more than 5,000 when its pastor retired in 2017. This meteoric growth has earned it the title of part of the American press as “New York’s Most Popular Evangelical Christian”.
A member of the Presbyterian Church in the United States, the second Presbyterian Church in the country known for its neo-Calvinist origins and labeled conservative, Timothy Keller had dedicated his ministry to the accompaniment of city dwellers. “Urban populations are very receptive to changehe testified in 2010 to the media Christianity today. This openness constitutes an opportunity for the Churches. »
“In the cities, people do not consider themselves Christianshe added again. Asking them to convert can sometimes sound like an insult. It is therefore a question of reaching them differently, of speaking their language. People often find themselves in crisis. They need a solution to survive. »
Timothy Keller is also one of the co-founders of the Gospel Coalition, an organization created by several American Evangelical Reform leaders from different denominations to promote neo-Calvinism. Within the American Presbyterian Church, he was responsible for planting new churches both in the United States and around the world.
A prolific author (more than thirty books between 1985 and 2022), several of his books have met with great success with American Christians. In total, the preacher would have sold more than two million copies of his works.
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