Pilgrim Pathways: Notes for a Diaspora People

Incarnational Discipleship

R. I. P. Tim Maddox, Baptist Philosopher

 The peace of my Labor Day was broken moments ago when I heard of the sudden death of a friend from my Ph.D. days, Tim Maddox, who collapsed suddenly today of a heart attack and died a few hours later–no further details, yet.

My prayers go out to Tim’s wife, Alana, and his sons, Seth and Luke.

Timothy F. Maddox collapsed and died on the campus of Hardin-Simmons University, a Baptist university in Abilene, TX where he was the only member of their philosophy department (only a minor in philosophy was offered).  Tim was a ’77 B.A. (Bible & Religion) graduate of Hardin-Simmons and earned 3 more degrees (M.Div., 1982, Th.M., 1992, Ph.D., 1997) at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary before returning to teach at his alma mater . He had been a pastor and was deeply concerned about the state of churches in the U.S.  He had been significantly influenced by the Reformed philosopher, Paul Ricoeur, and the Baptist theologian E. Y. Mullins–attempting a postmodern and more communal reappropriation of Mullins. He had also studied at Regent’s Park College, Oxford with Paul Fiddes, one of the most creative theologians Baptists have produced in recent decades and Fiddes made a deep impression on Tim.

Tim and I were not extremely close friends, and we’d only communicated infrequently since our doctoral days.  But his sudden death is still a personal loss and a loss to the church and to the HSU community.

UPDATE:  The local Abilene newspaper finally has more information here.


September 7, 2010 - Posted by | Baptists, obituary, philosophers


  1. Dr. Maddox will be sorely missed. There is a flaw with your article in that there was a major program available. There were currently two philosophy majors, one set to graduate in December, and the other, myself, a sophomore. R.I.P. Professor. I will miss you dearly.

    Comment by Ryan | September 7, 2010 | Reply

  2. Thanks for reflecting on Tim.
    That has hit us all pretty hard. Tim was a highly-valued friend and colleague.
    I just got in from talking with a neighbor who teaches history at HSU and was closer to Tim than I. He was one of those who found Tim, began CPR, called 911, etc. They are dealing with a lot.
    Alana and Luke were on a trip in east Texas. A long trip home!

    Comment by Ronnie Prevost | September 7, 2010 | Reply

  3. I am one of Dr. Maddox’s students at HSU. I am proud to call myself a Philosophy major. I was lucky enough to study under Dr. Maddox for three years, and was also lucky enough to call him a friend. He was actually more like my second father. He will be missed, and my prayers go out to his family.

    Scott Del Bosque

    Comment by Scott | September 7, 2010 | Reply

  4. Dr. Maddox, you will not be forgotten. You will be missed severely. There is a problem in the article, because there is a philosophy major program at Hardin-Simmons. There were two philosophy majors under Dr. Maddox, one set to Graduate in December, the other, myself, a Sophomore, in addition to two minors. Dr. Maddox, I speak for everyone who knew you and participated in your classes, when I say that HSU is lessened for losing you, and your memory will live on in the students you shaped.

    Comment by Ryan | September 7, 2010 | Reply

  5. Thanks for the additional information and corrections. I hope someone is available to teach philosophy until someone else can be hired–notice that I did not say “to replace Tim,” because that would be impossible.

    I was grieved to learn that Ana and Luke had to travel all the way from E. Texas.

    Was there heart disease or high blood pressure in Tim’s family?

    Comment by Michael Westmoreland-White | September 7, 2010 | Reply

  6. Thanks for sharing this Michael. TIm, Dan Stiver, and myself drove to ARR/SBL together when it was in San Antonio. Those were fun days! I know Tim will be sorely missed at HSU and by his wife and children.

    Comment by Coleman A. Baker | September 7, 2010 | Reply

    • I know you’re right, Coleman.

      Comment by Michael Westmoreland-White | September 7, 2010 | Reply

  7. Words cannot adequately express the grief felt with the loss of Tim Maddox. Tim touched so many lives and was an inspiration to all who knew him.My prayers and heartfelt sympathy go out to the family.

    Comment by Janie Rogers | September 7, 2010 | Reply

  8. Michael, Dan Stiver has been here for almost 14 years. His smeinary teaching load is pretty significant — and he is president of the HSU faculty — so, we will see what Dan is expected to shoulder.

    Comment by Ronnie Prevost | September 8, 2010 | Reply

    • Ronnie, I remember being in the car with Danny and Glen Stassen driving back from an NABPR meeting when Dan announced he’d been offered the Logsdon position.

      I hope HSU is smarter than just expecting him to shoulder Tim’s load. I pray so, anyway.

      Comment by Michael Westmoreland-White | September 8, 2010 | Reply

      • Michael — Anything that is done will be, I assume, only through this semester at most.
        You, Stiver, and Stassen in one car. What a load of heavyweights!

        Comment by Ronnie | September 8, 2010

  9. It was a fun time. The first joint meeting of the College Theology Society (mostly Catholic) with the NABPR. It was at the University of Dayton and, I think, Tim was at it.

    Comment by Michael Westmoreland-White | September 8, 2010 | Reply

  10. Tim was a good guy. I knew him while at Southern. I consider him a friend and I wish Alana, Seth and Luke my prayers.

    Comment by Joe Macupa | March 24, 2012 | Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s