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Tim Keller Shares Cancer Update after 'Mystery Lump' Discovered: 'Please Do Pray'

  • Michael Foust Crosswalk Headlines Contributor
  • Updated Sep 08, 2021
Tim Keller Shares Cancer Update after 'Mystery Lump' Discovered: 'Please Do Pray'

New York City pastor and author Tim Keller is requesting prayer after a doctor’s visit uncovered a “mystery lump” that proved to be cancerous.

The lump was found in August, more than a year after Keller underwent surgery for pancreatic cancer.

Keller is the founding pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York City and the co-founder of Redeemer City to City, a pastor training program. 

“After surgery last May, I was granted a ‘chemo holiday’ (missing one treatment) and was able to get out of town with my family for several weeks,” Keller wrote Sunday on social media. “On August 23, I had a scan, and the primary tumor had not progressed. However, a mystery lump underneath the May surgical scar was removed and proved to be cancerous. 

“Just to be safe,” he added, “my doctor has increased my chemotherapy back to the level it was before, which has more side-effects, but, we hope, more therapeutic effects. Pancreatic cancer is able to learn how to evade medication, so it is only God’s power that we look to for complete healing.”

Keller thanked everyone for their prayers and asked that they now pray for his increased treatment.  

“Please do pray that I will be able to fulfill my teaching and other obligations, and that the neuropathy and other side effects will be minimal while the medication will be effective against the cancer, and that we will run the race God has set before us with joy,” Keller wrote. 

In March of this year, Keller penned a column for The Atlantic where he discussed how the cancer diagnosis impacted his outlook on life and death. The column was titled, “Growing My Faith in the Face of Death.”

“As God’s reality dawns more on my heart, slowly and painfully and through many tears, the simplest pleasures of this world have become sources of daily happiness,” Keller wrote. “It is only as I have become, for lack of a better term, more heavenly minded that I can see the material world for the astonishingly good divine gift that it is.”

Keller retired as senior pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in 2017 and now chairs Redeemer City to City, a non-profit that recruits and trains Christian leaders. 


‘Extremely Encouraging’: Tim Keller Shares Cancer Update following Surgery

Photo courtesy: ©Tim Keller Facebook

Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, the Leaf-Chronicle, the Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.