In 1979 Covenant Seminary professor J. Barton Payne died from a fall while climbing Mt. Fuji on sabbatical in Japan. In 1996 Denver Seminary professor Bob Alden died of a heart attack shortly after hiking in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains.
I had learned about each of these cases some years ago, but conflated them in my mind. I wanted to make this post then to keep these two cases distinct in my mind and to bring them to the knowledge of those who have not heard of these men.
The similarity in the cases is that these were both Old Testament professors of Conservative reformed persuasion, both died in their late 50s, and both died in connection with hiking.
Two data points, however, is insufficient for even the most ardent empiricist to conclude that middle-aged Old Testament professors should avoid hiking.
I’ll post below images of the obituaries for each of these men. And if others knew them or anything else related to their deaths, please let me know.