Entrepreneur Max Anderson reflects on the many things he’s learnt from his New York pastor and friend

Tim Keller, husband, father, pastor, author passed away on 19th May 2023 in his New York home, of pancreatic cancer, at age 72.

If you don’t know about Tim, I’d like to introduce you. I think you would have liked him. Most people did.

New York Times columnist David Brooks called him “one of the most important theologians and greatest preachers of our time”. Russell Moore, editor in chief at Christianity Today, said he was “the most significant American evangelical apologist and evangelist since Billy Graham”.


I got to know Tim not only as a bestselling author, but as my pastor and as a mentor. For a season he was my boss. He was our friend.

My upcoming posts are based on the idea that if you read widely and read wisely, you’ll be a deeper thinker. Instead of just parroting one article you read, you can synthesise multiple viewpoints, and come to your own conclusions. When you do, you’ll be clearer about what you believe. At the same time, you will gain more respect for the other side, because you will have studied it.

Tim Keller exemplified this kind of approach. He used to say that the best kind of debate was when you so respected the other person that you could articulate their perspective fully, maybe even better than they could, and yet still argue why your position made more sense.

In an age when we are quick to draw bright lines around our camps and yell at each other without listening to each other, Tim Keller’s intellectual curiosity and humility appealed to both the right and the left, to people with faith and people with no faith at all.


Read more:

Are we being too ‘winsome’ in our approach to evangelism? Tim Keller responds

The Reason For God - Tim Keller

Tim Keller: How I prepare my sermons

How Tim Keller’s New York ministry changed the world


I’d like to share five things I learned from Tim Keller. I’ve learned many more than five things from him, but these are five that changed my life. As a tribute to him, I’d like to share them with you:

  1. How religious people may be as just as lost as the irreligious
  2. Why the resurrection actually matters
  3. How the heart is an idol factory
  4. What is the purpose of marriage?
  5. How our daily work has an eternal value

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Now, I know some of you are thinking “this is a lot of Christian stuff and that’s not for me”. I get that. But I can’t tell you how many people I know who said words like that, then listened to Tim Keller speak, and walked away, if not convinced, then at least thinking that if there are going to be Christians in this world, it’d be a whole lot better if more of them were like Tim.

With each article, I will share a link to one of Tim’s books and a recording of one of Tim’s talks. I hope you’ll listen to at least one of them. In them you will hear the brilliance of a philosopher, the gentleness of a pastor and the joy of a man who knew the love of God.


Max Anderson is an entrepreneur and author. He is founder of Stagecoach Ventures and author of The Weekend Reader, a deep thinker’s guide to modern culture. He is author of Modern Meditations: Reflections from the Mid-Point of the Second Decade of the Twenty-first Century. Max is founder and CEO of The Lift Seminar - a personal accelerator for entrepreneurs, and a platform for teaching MBAs at the world’s top business schools the secrets of massive personal productivity.