15 Influential Quotes from Pastor Tim Keller

15 Influential Quotes from Pastor Tim Keller

The late pastor and best-selling author Tim Keller passed away on Friday, May 19, three years after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Keller had a long and influential ministerial career. During his time in the pastorate, he regularly highlighted the love and goodness of God through his sermons, books and social media posts. Keller is the author of nearly three dozen books.

Here are 10 inspiring quotes about faith, Christianity and God’s goodness from Pastor Tim Keller:

  1. “To be loved but not known is comforting but superficial. To be known and not loved is our greatest fear. But to be fully known and truly loved is, well, a lot like being loved by God. It is what we need more than anything. It liberates us from pretense, humbles us out of our self-righteousness, and fortifies us for any difficulty life can throw at us.” – The Meaning of Marriage: Facing the Complexities of Commitment with the Wisdom of God
  2. We modern people think of miracles as the suspension of the natural order, but Jesus meant them to be the restoration of the natural order. The Bible tells us that God did not originally make the world to have disease, hunger, and death in it. Jesus has come to redeem where it is wrong and heal the world where it is broken. His miracles are not just proofs that he has power but also wonderful foretastes of what he is going to do with that power. Jesus’ miracles are not just a challenge to our minds, but a promise to our hearts, that the world we all want is coming.” – The Reason for God: Belief in an Age of Skepticism
  3. The gospel is this: We are more sinful and flawed in ourselves than we ever dared believe, yet at the very same time we are more loved and accepted in Jesus Christ than we ever dared hope.” – The Meaning of Marriage: Facing the Complexities of Commitment with the Wisdom of God
  4. Faith is not primarily a function of how you feel. Faith is living out and believing what truth is despite what you feel.”
  5. Love without truth is sentimentality; it supports and affirms us but keeps us in denial about our flaws. Truth without love is harshness; it gives us information but in such a way that we cannot really hear it. God’s saving love in Christ, however, is marked by both radical truthfulness about who we are and yet also radical, unconditional commitment to us.” – The Meaning of Marriage: Facing the Complexities of Commitment with the Wisdom of God
  6. If we think we are not all that bad, the idea of grace will never change us. Change comes by seeing a need for a Savior and getting one.” – The Prodigal God: Recovering the Heart of the Christian Faith
  7. You may speak a great deal about what a ‘blessing’ your faith is … but if you are prayerless—is that really true? If you aren’t joyful, humble, and faithful in private before God, then what you want to appear to be on the outside won’t match what you truly are.” – Prayer
  8. Tolerance isn’t about not having beliefs. It’s about how your beliefs lead you to treat people who disagree with you.”
  9. The basic premise of religion– that if you live a good life, things will go well for you – is wrong. Jesus was the most morally upright person who ever lived, yet He had a life filled with the experience of poverty, rejection, injustice, and even torture.”
  10. “As many have learned and later taught, you don’t realize Jesus is all you need until Jesus is all you have.” – Counterfeit Gods: The Empty Promises of Money, Sex, and Power, and the Only Hope that Matters
  11. When people say, ‘I know God forgives me, but I can’t forgive myself,’ they mean that they have failed an idol, whose approval is more important than God’s.” – Counterfeit Gods: The Empty Promises of Money, Sex, and Power, and the Only Hope that Matters
  12. “A faith without some doubts is like a human body without any antibodies in it. People who blithely go through life too busy or indifferent to ask hard questions about why they believe as they do will find themselves defenseless against either the experience of tragedy or the probing questions of a smart skeptic. A person’s faith can collapse almost overnight if she has failed over the years to listen patiently to her own doubts, which should only be discarded after long reflection. Believers should acknowledge and wrestle with doubts — not only their own but their friends’ and neighbors’. It is no longer sufficient to hold beliefs just because you inherited them. Only if you struggle long and hard with objections to your faith will you be able to provide the grounds for your beliefs to skeptics, including yourself, that are plausible rather than ridiculous or offensive.”
  13. “The Christian Gospel is that I am so flawed that Jesus had to die for me, yet I am so loved and valued that Jesus was glad to die for me. This leads to deep humility and deep confidence at the same time. It undermines both swaggering and sniveling. I cannot feel superior to anyone, and yet I have nothing to prove to anyone. I do not think more of myself nor less of myself. Instead, I think of myself less.” – The Reason for God: Belief in an Age of Skepticism
  14. “If a person has grasped the meaning of God’s grace in his heart, he will do justice. If he doesn’t live justly, then he may say with his lips that he is grateful for God’s grace, but in his heart, he is far from him. If he doesn’t care about the poor, it reveals that at best he doesn’t understand the grace he has experienced, and at worst he has not really encountered the saving mercy of God. Grace should make you just.” – Generous Justice: How God’s Grace Makes Us Just
  15. “God does not love us because we are serviceable; He loves us simply because He loves us. This is the only kind of love we can ever be secure in, of course, since it is the only kind of love we cannot possibly lose. This is grace.” – Galatians for You

Photo courtesy: ©Frank Licorice/Creative Commons, image cropped and resized.

Kayla Koslosky has been the Editor of ChristianHeadlines.com since 2018. She has B.A. degrees in English and History and previously wrote for and was the managing editor of the Yellow Jacket newspaper. She has also contributed to IBelieve.com and Crosswalk.com.

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