I just finished reading Collin Hansen’s book, Timothy Keller: His Spiritual and Intellectual Formation. Keller went to be with the Lord on May 19, as many of you know. Hansen’s book about Keller was released only a couple months prior to Keller’s passing.

I appreciated this book and received extra benefit from it because it wasn’t organized like a normal biography. Typically, when I read a biography, I try to discern what factors God used to shape the profiled person into what he or she became — with hopes that I might somehow grow by observing the subject’s example. What made this book different from other biographies I’ve read is that Hansen organized his book according to primary influences on Tim Keller. If you are interested in reading a general biography of Keller, this is probably not the book for you. But if you want to delve into the means and personal agents God used to shape Keller’s spiritual and intellectual life, then this book may be exactly what you need, as it was for me.

Here are some of the influences (personal, situational, geographical) that Hansen highlights:

After reading about Keller’s influences (personal, circumstantial, intellectual, geographical), I started thinking about how particular people, books, locations, and decisions have influenced my life. Last night before going to bed, Trudi and I took turns talking through factors that have molded us into what we have become today. That conversation with Trudi reminded me of how the hand of a sovereign God has shaped and guided our lives. I found myself thankful and encouraged as I drifted off to sleep.

That bit of self-reflection was triggered by reading Hansen’s book about Timothy Keller.

If you have been touched by Keller’s ministry and want to learn more about the means God used to shape his life, I am glad to recommend Collin Hansen’s recent book, Timothy Keller: His Spiritual and Intellectual Formation.

This post and other resources are available at Kindle Afresh: The Blog and Website of Kenneth Berding.