Quotes by Tim Keller

Tim Keller

Christians, then, should expect to find non-believers who are much nicer, kinder, wiser and better than they are. Why? Christian believers are not accepted by God because of their moral performance, wisdom or virtue, but because of Christ’s work on their behalf.


True gospel-humility means I stop connecting every experience, every conversation, with myself. In fact, I stop thinking about myself. The freedom of self-forgetfulness. The blessed rest that only self-forgetfulness brings.


The thing we would remember from meeting a truly gospel-humble person is how much they seemed to be totally interested in us. Because the essence of gospel-humility is not thinking more of myself or thinking less of myself, it is thinking of myself less


The greatest champions of justice in our era knew the antidote to racism was not less Christianity, but a deeper and truer Christianity


The ego often hurts. That is because it has something incredibly wrong with it. Something unbelievably wrong with it. It is always drawing attention to itself – it does so every single day. It is always making us think about how we look and how we are treated. People sometimes say their feelings are hurt. But our feelings can’t be hurt! It is the ego that hurts – my...


[Paul] says ‘I don’t care about your opinion but, I don’t care that much about my opinion’ – and that is the secret


If we again ask the question: ‘Why does God allow evil and suffering to continue?’ and we look at the cross of Jesus, we still do not know what the answer is. However, we now know what the answer isn’t. It can’t be that he doesn’t love us. It can’t be that he is indifferent or detached from our condition. God takes misery so seriously that he was willing to...


The Christian gospel is that I am so flawed that Jesus had to dies for me, yet I am so loves and valued that Jesus was glad to die for me.


We modern people think of miracles as the suspension of the natural order, but Jesus meant them to be the restoration of the natural order. The Bible tells us that God did not originally make the world to have disease, hunger and death in it. Jesus has come to redeem the world where it is wrong and heal where it is broken. His miracles are not just proofs that he has power but also wonderful...


The reason marriage is so painful and yet so wonderful is because it is a reflection of the gospel, which is painful and wonderful at once.


Suppose we concede that if I had been born of Muslim parents in Morocco rather than Christian parents in Michigan, my beliefs would have been quite different. [But] the same goes for the pluralist … If the pluralist had been born in [Morocco] he probably wouldn’t be a pluralist. Does it follow that … his pluralist beliefs are produced in him by an unreliable belief-producing...


Trying to boost our self-esteem by trying to live up to our own standards or someone else’s is a trap. It is not an answer.


The Act of Emancipation was passed in 1833, and the costs were so high to the British people that one historian called the British abolition of slavery ‘voluntary econocide’


If the goal of prayer is a real, personal connection with God, then it is only by immersion in the language of the Bible that we will learn to pray, perhaps just as slowly as a child learns to speak


If God were only unipersonal, then love could not have appeared until after God began to create other beings. That would mean God was more fundamentally power than he was love. Love would not be as important as power.


A Christian’s worth and value are not created by excluding anyone, but through the Lord who was excluded for me.


God often waits to give a blessing until you have prayed for it. Why? Good things that we do not ask for will usually be interpreted by our hearts as the fruit of our own wisdom and diligence. Gifts from God that are not acknowledged as such are deadly to the soul, because they thicken the illusion of self-sufficiency that leads to overconfidence and sets us up for failure.


The gospel, brought home to your heart by the Spirit, can make you happy enough to be humble, giving you an internal fullness that frees you to be generous with the other even when you are not getting the satisfaction you want out of the relationship


All we were trying to do was to tenderly express with our bodies the oneness we had first begun feeling as friends and which had then grown stronger and deeper as we fell in love… With sex, we were trying to be vulnerable to each other, to give each other the gift of bare-faced rejoicing in one another, and to know the pleasure of giving one another pleasure.


The devil, if anything, prefers Pharisees – men and women who try to save themselves. They are more unhappy than either mature Christians or irreligious people, and they do a lot more damage.


In the dance of the Trinity, the greatest is the one who is most self-effacing, most sacrificial, most devoted to the good of the Other.


Jesus is showing us the God of Great Expenditure, who is nothing if not prodigal toward us, his children. God’s reckless grace is our greatest hope, a life changing experience, and the subject of this book


The apostle John writes that if we confess our sins, God is “faithful and just and will forgive us our sins” (1 John 1:9). It doesn’t say that if we confess our sins, God forgives because he is merciful (though that is, of course, true). It says he forgives when we confess because he is just. In other words, it would be unjust of God to deny us forgiveness because Jesus earned our...


You only discover your own happiness after each of you has put the happiness of your spouse ahead of your own, in a sustained way, in response to what Jesus has done for you.


The Bible begins with a wedding (of Adam and Eve) and ends in the book of Revelation with a wedding (of Christ and the church). Marriage is God’s idea.


The gospel can fill our hearts with God’s love so that you can handle it when your spouse fails to love you as he or she should. That frees us to see our spouse’s sins and flaws to the bottom—and speak of them—and yet still love and accept our spouse fully.


[Marriage] is a way for two spiritual friends to help each other on their journey to become the persons God designed them to be.


Prayer turns theology into experience. Through it we sense his presence and receive his joy, his love, his peace and confidence, and thereby we are changed in attitude, behaviour, and character.


Marriage is glorious but hard. It’s a burning joy and strength, and yet it is also blood, sweat, and tears, humbling defeats and exhausting victories.


If two spouses are spending a day together, the question of who gets each’s pleasure and who gives in can present itself every few minutes. And when it does, there are three possibilities: You can offer to serve with joy, you can make the offer with coldness or resentment, or you can selfishly insist on your own way. Only when both partners are regularly responding to one anther in the...


The love of God does not extinguish desire but fulfils it.


We know God will answer us when we call because one terrible day he did not answer Jesus when he called.


Don’t be afraid that you will ask for the wrong thing. Of course you will! God “tempers the outcome” with his incomprehensible wisdom. Cry, ask, and appeal—you will get many answers. Finally where you do not get an answer, or where the answer is not what you want, use prayer to enable you to rest in his will.


How much are you willing to lose for the sake of this person? How much of your freedom are you willing to forsake? How much of your precious time, emotion, and resources are you willing to invest in this person?


Some prayers in the Bible are like an intimate conversation with a friend, others like an appeal to a great monarch, and other approximate a wrestling match. Why? In every case the nature of the prayer is determined by the character of God, who is at once our friend, father, lover, shepherd, and king. We must not decide how to pray based on what types of prayer are the most effective for...


If it takes a community to know an ordinary human being, how much more necessary would it be to get to know Jesus alongside others? By praying with friends, you will be able to hear and see facets of Jesus that you have not yet perceived.


Prayer is how God gives us so many of the unimaginable things he has for us. Indeed, prayer makes it safe for God to give us many of the things we most desire. It is the way we know God, they way we finally treat God as God. Prayer is simply the key to everything we need to do and be in life.


Evening prayer aims to give the soul the same peace spiritually that a night’s sleep gives the body physically. The soul and the body rest better if they do it together. A troubled soul will lead to fitful sleep, and the body won’t fully get what it needs.


It is remarkable that in all of his writings Paul’s prayers for his friends contain no appeals for changes in circumstances.


The tender, serving authority of a husband’s headship and the strong, gracious gift of a wife’s submission restore us to who we are meant to be at creation.


We can define prayer as a personal, communicative response to the knowledge of God.


Both women and men get to “play the Jesus role” in marriage—Jesus in his sacrificial authority, Jesus in his sacrificial submission. By accepting our gender roles, and operating within them, we are able to demonstrate to the world concepts that are so counter-intuitive as to be completely unintelligible unless they are lived out by men and women in Christian marriages.


The text [of the Psalms] that teaches us to pray doesn’t begin with prayer. We are not ready. We are wrapped up in ourselves. We are knocked around by the world… [Psalm 1 is] pre-prayer, getting us ready.


Wedding vows are not a declaration of present love but a mutually binding promise of future love


Prayer is the way that all the things we believe in and that Christ has won for us actually become our strength. Prayer is the way that truth is worked into your heart to create new instincts, reflexes, and dispositions.


What can keep marriages together during the rough patches? The vows. A public oath, made to the world, keeps you “tied to the mast” until your mind clears and you begin to understand things better. It keeps you in the relationship when your feelings flag, and flag they will.


What if you expected marriage to be about helping each other grow out of your sins and flaws into the new self God is creating?


One of the most basic skills in marriage is the ability to tell the straight, unvarnished truth about what your spouse has done—and then, completely, unself-righteously, and joyously express forgiveness without a shred of superiority, without making the other person feel small.


What we should say to each other on our wedding day is, “As great as you look today, someday you will stand with me before God in such beauty that it will make these clothes look like rags.”


The legal bond of marriage, however, creates a space of security where we can open up and reveal our true selves. We can be vulnerable, no longer having to keep up facades. We don’t have to keep selling ourselves. We can lay the last layer of our defences down and be completely naked, both physically and in every other way.


Marriage does not so much bring you into confrontation with your spouse as confront you with yourself.


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