By: J. Charles Coughlin
This past week, I lost one of my best mentors, the Rev. Tim Keller. He has been a major influence in my life as I have tried to reflect Christ in my own life, however imperfect that has been.
As I have walked out my faith in my life, I am reminded of his words, “The gospel shows us a savior who does extend authority over us, but who uses that authority and power to serve us, and who was willing to lose it and suffer in order to save us. Christians have intellectual and heart resources to use power in a way that does not exploit. We must never stop struggling to walk in our saviors’ steps.”
With so much political rhetoric today about Christian Nationalism, this quote takes me back to the basic duty of any Christian, “Love your neighbor, as yourself.” Even better, “Love your enemy!”
As David Brooks wrote in the NYTimes (9/24/20), “In a society that is growing radically more secular every day, I’d say we have more to fear from political dogmatism than religious dogmatism. We have more to fear from those who let their politics determine their faith practices and who turn their religious communities into political armies. We have more to fear from people who look to politics as a substitute for faith.”
Keller has always been a North Star to me, constantly reminding me where to place my hope. As Keller again said, “When we allow our heart’s hope for justice to slide off Christ crucified and let it rest in some program, group, or even our own efforts, we will become self-righteous as well as despondent. The gospel helps justice workers maintain a quiet confidence in the midst of the chaos.”
Let us pray that we all keep our hope in our God and in Christ. God is happy to have Tim Keller with him today – we, unfortunately, are much the lesser.
You can find his obituary here.