I was a college and career pastor in Normal, IL, when I first heard about a pastor named Tim Keller.
My brother-in-law had given me some cassettes of Keller’s sermons, and I started listening to them in the car. Through those sermons from a fairly unknown pastor in New York City, I began learning things that would shape me for years to come. I often found myself quoting Keller, committing to memory beautiful truths like this one:
“The gospel says you are more sinful and flawed than you ever dared believe, but more accepted and loved than you ever dared hope.”
I’ve joked for years that I was quoting Keller long before Keller was cool! But it was a sermon he preached in 2006 that set me and Spread Truth on a whole new trajectory.
In that sermon, Keller observed that Christians have to share the gospel in ways that reflect how culture has changed. People don’t attend Sunday School from childhood anymore; we can’t assume they know anything about Jesus or the gospel, so our approach to teaching the gospel needs to start at the beginning of the story–not the middle. That observation led Spread Truth to start developing a pocket-sized booklet that told the most beautiful story in the world. It started with Creation, then told about our Fall from grace, our Rescue in Christ, and finally our Redemption–and we called it The Story.
Since then, The Story has been developed into a short film and translated into 23 languages. We have several resources based on this approach to sharing the gospel and are currently developing an online course to teach Christians how to share their faith with confidence.
On May 19, 2023, Tim Keller went home to be with his Savior. He never knew about Spread Truth, but because he was faithful to teach and preach what God had laid on his heart, we have been enabled to spread the gospel all around the world. We grieve with his wife Kathy and his children but rejoice in his salvation and faithful example. We are indebted to this man who “walked the walk” and we are incredibly grateful for his life and ministry.
Looking forward to seeing you someday, Tim.
For the gospel,