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Son Says Tim Keller Improving after Health Scare Related to Cancer Treatment

Son of author and pastor Tim Keller took to Twitter last week to say his dad was improving after a scare related to his cancer treatment. 

Michael Keller originally tweeted on his father’s account June 14. “Dad is currently dealing with the side effects of an immunotherapy treatment that he is undergoing,” he said. “We ask that you continue to pray for his healing and for guiding the decisions of his doctors and medical team who continue to provide excellent, compassionate care.”

On June 17 he updated, saying, “Things were scary for a bit but God was gracious, working through your prayers and the skill of the doctors, and now he is doing much better. He is due to be released from the hospital next week, and will have ongoing outpatient treatments for a while. Please continue to pray over the next 6 months as we wait on the Lord to destroy the cancer. We are hopeful.”

Tim Keller’s Cancer Journey

Tim Keller is founding pastor of New York City’s Redeemer Presbyterian Church. In June 2020, Keller announced he had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. At the time he had no symptoms. 

Keller started chemotherapy, which had encouraging results, he reported in August. “Our situation has driven us to seek God’s face as we never [have] before,” he said. “He is giving us more of his sensed presence, more freedom from our besetting sins, more dependence on his Word—things that we had sought for years, but only under these circumstances are we finding them.”

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In November of that year, Keller said the chemotherapy was continuing to have promising results and that he was tolerating it well. In an interview, Keller said his cancer diagnosis has had a profound impact on his spiritual life, as well as that of his wife, Kathy. “We never want to go back spiritually where we were before the cancer diagnosis,” he said. “We never want to go back to that.” 

Dealing with cancer, said Keller, has caused him to depend on God as he never has before. “He really is there. He is enough. I’m actually happier than I’ve ever been on a given day…I enjoy my prayer life more than I ever have in my life.”

Keller had surgery in May 2021 to remove some nodules and his update shortly afterward was hopeful. However, in September 2021, Keller said due to a “mysterious lump” that turned out to be cancerous, his doctor was increasing his chemotherapy.

In May 2022, Keller celebrated the two-year anniversary of his diagnosis, expressing gratitude that chemotherapy had helped reduce his Stage IV cancer and that “God has seen it fit to give me more time.” He continued, “However, we are also moving onto an immunotherapy trial at the National Cancer Center in Bethesda, MD as of June 1, 2022. This has shown great promise in potentially curing cancer, though it is a rigorous and demanding month-long program (that will need updates up to 6 months).”

Keller asked for prayers for the treatment to be effective and for its side effects to be minimal. He also asked for prayers regarding the separation he and Kathy would have to endure as the result of him being an inpatient in another state.

A version of this article was originally published by Church Leaders. It is reprinted with permission. 

Access to MinistryWatch content is free.  However, we hope you will support our work with your prayers and financial gifts.  To make a donation, click here.

Joseph Hammond

Joseph Hammond is an author at Religion News Service.