Loss of a Great Mentor and Friend

Below is my university’s press release following the sudden and tragic death of my dear friend and mentor Dr. Daniel Goodman.

Dr. Dan Goodman of the School of Divinity Died Unexpectedly Today

BOILING SPRINGS, N. C. – Dr. Daniel E. Goodman of the Gardner-Webb University School of Divinity died unexpectedly on January 13, 2009 at the age of 40. Goodman was professor and Bob D. Shepherd Chair of New Testament Interpretation. “We are deeply saddened by the devastating news of Dan’s passing and we will be in prayer for his family during this time of grief. We are genuinely grateful for the time that we had with Dan and for the commitment and selflessness with which he served Gardner-Webb,” said Noel T. Manning, II, director of University and Media Relations at GWU.

Goodman joined the faculty of The Divinity School at Gardner-Webb in the fall of 2003 as Associate Professor of New Testament. Prior to coming to North Carolina, Goodman served as Associate Professor of New Testament Studies at Palm Beach Atlantic University, where he was twice named Professor of the Year, and was awarded the Charles and Hazel Corts Award for Outstanding Teaching. In 2004, Goodman was one of only ten theological school professors nationwide to be awarded the Theological Scholars Grant (by the Association of Theological Schools and the Lilly Foundation) for his project on the history of Baptist-Jewish relations. Goodman had presented academic papers at regional, national, and international meetings of the Society of Biblical Literature. Goodman regularly contributed to book reviews and journals, including Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Biblical Theology Bulletin, Review & Expositor, and Review of Biblical Literature. In 2006, Goodman was issue editor (and author of two articles) for Review & Expositor’s issue on Jewish-Christian Dialogue. Goodman’s primary research interests included Christian origins, Jesus and the gospels, hermeneutics, and Jewish-Christian dialogue. Although Goodman’s ministry took place first in the classroom, he was equally devoted to serving the church. He had served as an interim pastor in Baptist churches in New York, New Jersey, Florida and North Carolina. Goodman also preached and taught in numerous churches across North Carolina.

In August 2006, the Gardner-Webb Board of Trustees awarded Goodman the distinction of the Bob D. Shepherd Chair of New Testament Interpretation. Upon receiving this honor, Goodman said, “I’m especially thankful to my colleagues on the faculty, and for the students who make Gardner-Webb such a wonderful place to live and to learn.”

Goodman was described by Rabbi Irving Greenberg, former chairman of the United States Holocaust Museum in Washington, DC and a national leader in Jewish-Christian dialogue in America, as “an up-and-coming scholar…a leader in the new vision of interpretation and learning. In using wisdom and talent, he [Goodman] has reached the profound level of reconciling scholarship with faith while deepening each one,” said Greenberg.

The cause of death is unknown and funeral arrangements are incomplete at this time. A wife and two sons survive Goodman.

As I continue to process this loss more will likely come. As for now please especially be in prayer for Barbara, his wife, and Daniel and Dylan, his two sons.

To further his legacy the first thing I can think of is continuing in Jewish-Christian dialogue, as that was where a bulk of his passion lay.

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