Tim Keller 'dealing with side effects' of stage 4 cancer treatment: 'We deeply covet your prayers'

Pastor Tim Keller, founder and former pastor of Redeemer Church in New York City.
Pastor Tim Keller, founder and former pastor of Redeemer Church in New York City. | Courtesy of A. Larry Ross Communications

Theologian Tim Keller is “dealing with the side effects of an immunotherapy treatment that he is undergoing” amid his ongoing battle with stage 4 pancreatic cancer, his family announced in a social media post asking supporters for their prayers.

“Dad is currently dealing with the side effects of an immunotherapy treatment that he is undergoing,” the pastor’s son, Michael Keller, wrote on Facebook late Monday. “We ask that you continue to pray for Dad’s healing and for the decisions of his doctors and medical team who continue to provide excellent, compassionate care. Thank you for the outpouring of love and support. We deeply covet your prayers at this time.”

Keller, the founder of Redeemer Presbyterian Church and City to City, was diagnosed with cancer in May 2020. Last month, he announced he would be undergoing an immunotherapy trial at the National Cancer Center in Bethesda, Maryland, in June.

“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 six months),” Keller said at the time. 

Requesting prayers for him and his family, the pastor shared that he and his wife, Kathy, would be “displaced from our home and separated from one another, as I will be an inpatient.”

He asked his followers to continue to pray “for truly miraculous effects of the procedure and minimal side effects.”

Following the latest update, Christ Presbyterian Church Pastor Scott Sauls, who has described Keller as his “mentor,” took to social media to urge his followers to pray for the ailing pastor.

“Friends, please pray for Tim Keller as he contends with some serious health complications. Pray also for Kathy, their three sons, and their grandchildren, for the Lord’s comfort and care,” he wrote. 

Keller is also a survivor of thyroid cancer, which he had in 2002.

In an April 2021 interview with The Christian Post, the bestselling author explained that pancreatic cancer is a particularly aggressive disease that typically claims its victims within a year — and it’s “usually a very difficult year."

But last month, Keller celebrated two years since his diagnosis, adding: “God has seen it fit to give me more time.”

The pastor previously shared with CP how he learned of his diagnosis while writing Hope in Times of Fear, a book focusing on the transformative power of the resurrection. 

“Here I am, writing a book about the resurrection, and I realized I only half-believed I was going to die. I went back and realized that in some ways, I also only half-believed in the resurrection — not intellectually so much, but all the way down deep in my heart. I realized I needed to have a greater, a deeper faith in the resurrection, both intellectually and mentally,” he recalled.

“It took several months in which I had to take my abstract belief down into my heart to existentially and experientially know it and grow in assurance, and it worked,” he said. “If you are willing to embrace the truth of God's Word and immerse yourself in it day in and day out, and then ask the Holy Spirit to make it real to your heart, He will.”

He also told CP that regardless of what happens, he was “ready for anything.”

“What the future holds, I don’t know. Pray that I would have years and not months left and that the chemotherapy would continue to be effective. But we are ready for whatever God decides for me. We’re spiritually ready.”

“I do know,” he added, “that the resurrection of Jesus Christ really happened. And when I die, I will know that resurrection too."

Leah M. Klett is a reporter for The Christian Post. She can be reached at:

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