Late last week, author, pastor, and theologian Timothy Keller shared a health update on the two-year anniversary of his pancreatic cancer diagnosis.
Addressing the Twitter thread to his “friends,” Keller said, “This month, I am celebrating the 2-year anniversary of my diagnosis with pancreatic cancer. I can call it a celebration with justification as the chemotherapies have reduced the stage 4 cancer that was found and God has seen it fit to give me more time.”
“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 continued.
Keller then asked for prayer as he looks ahead to the immunotherapy trial, saying, “Please pray for me and for our family. [My wife] Kathy and I will be displaced from our home and separated from one another, as I will be an inpatient. Your continued prayers for truly miraculous effects of the procedure and minimal side effects would be very much appreciated.”
Keller, who was the founding pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York City, is the chairman of the church planting organization Redeemer City to City, and is a best-selling author multiple times over, has been open about his cancer diagnosis, regularly sharing health updates and discussing how he is processing his illness through the lens of his faith and theology.
In a 2021 interview with Russell Moore, Keller discussed the experience of he and his wife, Kathy, losing certain things they loved as a result of his cancer, such as being able to work on certain projects and travel to certain places.
“You reorder your loves. What Augustine would say, contrary to the Buddhist or the Stoic, which says you detach your heart from these things so they won’t hurt you when you lose them—or the modern person who says, ‘You only go around once in life, so you grab for all the gusto you can,” Keller said, referencing a fourth century work of theology alongside the slogan of a 1970s beer commercial.
“But what Augustine would say is: you don’t want to love anything here less, because these are God’s good gifts. You don’t want to harden your heart or detach your heart from them. But your problem is that you need to love God more in relation to them,” Keller went on to say.
Though Keller has been living with cancer for the past two years, he has continued to write and give interviews, authoring “Hope in Times of Fear: The Resurrection and the Meaning of Easter” in 2021. He has also remained active on social media, engaging in theological and philosophical discussions with fellow Christians.