“Tim Keller was a recliner. Whenever a particular group of my friends would get together, discussing some personal, social or philosophical issue over Zoom during the past few years, you could see Tim just chilling and enjoying it, lounging back in his chair. The conversation would flow, and finally somebody would ask: “Tim, what do you think?”
He’d start slow, with that wry, friendly smile. He’d mention a relevant John Bunyan poem, then an observation Kierkegaard had made or a pattern the historian David Bebbington had noticed. Then Tim would synthesize it all into the four crucial points that pierced the clouds of confusion and brought you to a new layer of understanding.
I used to think of it as the Keller Clarity Beam. He didn’t make these points in a didactic or professorial way. It was more like: Hey, you’re thirsty. I happen to have this glass of water. Want a sip?
It was this skill that made Tim Keller, who died on Friday at 72, one of the most important theologians and greatest preachers of our time.”