GERARDUS DINGEMAN BOUW
Born during the famine in the Netherlands at the end of the
German occupation in the Second World War, few neighbors and
family members believed I would survive my first
month. My dad had been taken to
Germany for forced labor three months before, and no one knew if he was dead
or alive. Thus my mother named me after him.
It was August before my dad was able to work his way home via
southern France. In the meantime, my grandfather's bakery
provided us with bread to trade with the farmers for milk, which
was what kept me alive until the peace was restored in South Holland.
One wintry night, when I was three years old, my dad seated me on
his bike, ready to get bread from my grandparents' bakery. As
he mounted the bike in front of me, I had to look straight
up into the sky in order to avoid having his coat brush my face.
That was the first time that I noticed the sky filled with a
myriad of lights. As I looked up at them I felt them draw me up
to themselves. In fear of falling upwards, I grabbed my dad
tightly about the waist just as we started riding. This experience
set the stage for a life-long fascination with the
A year or so later another life-changing event happened,
this time in church. Now being in church was itself unusual, for
children are not encouraged to attend church services in the
Netherlands, but this was a special occasion, for it was
Christmas. The only part of the service I recall is when the
dominee spoke of the creation, reading from Genesis 1:1-2. The
account intrigued me, and I asked my mother "What was there
before the world?" "God," she replied. "And what was there
before God?" I asked. "Nothing," was her reply,
"God has always
been." I often pondered that idea, imagining
myself drifting endlessly back in time, without any beginning.
Little did I anticipate then what the Lord himself would teach me
about the infinite in the years ahead.
The Russian threat during the Berlin Air Lift caused my
parents to relocated from the Netherlands to Canada. In the summer
of 1952 we landed in Halifax. In the fifth grade, in a two-room
schoolhouse, I learned that one could actually get paid for
studying the stars; that the field of study had a name,
astronomy. I immediately organized an astronomy club at school
and started teaching what I learned from reading books on
astronomy. From that time on
I knew what I wanted to be when I grew up. After eight years in
Canada, we emigrated to the United States, first to Torrance,
California, and two years later to Rochester, New York.
And so it was that at age eighteen I entered the University
of Rochester as an astrophysics major with a minor in astronomy.
During my studies at the U. of R. I became an atheist. After
all, evolution and the Bible don't agree, regardless of what
theistic evolutionists may say. Candidly, it
was such compromisers who convinced me the Bible was
wrong and science was right. After all, if science makes a
proclamation (such as the earth is not at the center of the
universe or that life came along through an evolutionary
sequence) and many years later some theologian comes along and by
some mysterious manipulation of the meanings of the Bible's
wordings concludes: "Aha, the Bible knew it all along,"
then what did
the Bible have to contribute to human knowledge? The frontiers
of knowledge obviously did not lie in the study of the Bible.
I graduated in 1967 with a B.S. in astrophysics. That fall
I entered Case Western Reserve University for graduate studies in
astronomy and a couple of years later got involved with the wrong
It was there that life interfered with my school work and,
more importantly, it interfered with my atheism. I discovered
that science could not explain all phenomena. I also broadened my
scientific interests tremendously, becoming a generalist.
In hindsight it was fortunate for me that by the time I
finished my Doctorate, the government had decreed that the space
program was irrelevant and that federal money was better spent on
relevant programs such as the funding (promotion) of
poverty through welfare. The bottom line for
me was that I was massively unemployable. I was awarded the
Ph.D. degree in astronomy in 1973.
In April of 1973 I moved to Monterey, California, in the
hope that the concentration of observatories in California would
better my chances at a job in astronomy, but it was to no avail.
I worked there in temporary jobs until the following spring.
Tired of sin and disillusioned with man, in May of 1974 I happened
upon a science fiction work by Heinlein entitled Time Enough
for Love. Before long I was frustrated in the reading: Heinlein
was obviously trying to write a bible for our times but all his
gems came from the Holy Bible. I never finished Heinlein as I
decided to go directly to the source itself.
So I started a critical reading of the Bible, from cover to
cover, searching for inconsistencies and any contradictions between
an infinite God and the God of the Bible. Fortunately, God
was watching out for me in that the only Bible I owned was an
Authorized Version, the only English Bible free of such contradictions.
Any other version and I would have been left with
no alternative but agnosticism.
Space and time do not permit me to detail all the spiritual
struggles, nor of the comparisons of Old Testament scriptures with
their fulfillments in the New Testament. Nor can I detail all
the other changes in my life at that time. Suffice it to say
that I returned to Rochester, New York, and there, on Sunday evening,
January 26, 1975, the Lord enlightened my understanding so
that I clearly saw salvation by grace, and I was born again. Oh,
the joy that filled my soul. Oh, the zeal for the Lord and for
When I'd started my Bible reading program, one of the first things
I learned was that not only was I to learn new things from the
words of God, but I was also to forget the teachings of men.
"What must I forget next?" was a question I asked over and over.
So it was that after my rebirth, I dedicated my life to the defense of the
Bible from "science falsely so called" (1 Timothy 6:20). To that
end my life's verse is Ephesians 4:14 -- "That we henceforth be no
more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every
wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness,
whereby they lie in wait to deceive."
At the time, I attended a Free Methodist Church in Rochester, and that
March (1975), the Sunday school superintendent presented a little
ditty to the children entitled I Didn't Come From A Monkey, No,
No. Now it so happened that I had been working on a theistic
evolutionary model in which the major phases of the Big Bang and
evolution all happened within one day, with eons between the
days. In all modesty, it was the best theistic evolutionary
model I've ever seen, bar none. And now this man was going to
tell me that evolution was not true? I snickered to myself: "Of
course we didn't come from monkeys, everyone knows that we came
from apes," and I resolved to correct him privately after Sunday
school. Well, he had some tracts, specifically, one by Duane
Gish entitled Have You Been Brainwashed? and I postponed
correcting him until after reading it.
You know, I never did correct that Sunday school superintendent.
I stood corrected instead. I abandoned my theistic evolutionary
model for what it was: dead wrong. When I became an
atheist it was because I recognized that evolution and the Bible won't mix.
I'd forgotten that, and was trying to "correct" the
Bible to fit evolution, and not the other way around. True, I was
trying to keep
the corrections to an absolute minimum, but even so, I was trying
to correct that which was perfect. And so it was that I became a
Special Creationist (meaning that the universe is no more than
6,000 years old).
I joined the Creation Research Society and soon ran into
some differences with them because many, though not all of the members of
that learned society are scientists first and biblicists second.
I had learned my second lesson, though. Science can never correct
the Bible. Never twist the wording of scripture to fit a
pet theory. I still cannot go along with the two-model approach:
that creationism and evolutionism should be taught side-by-side
as theories. Again I asked the Lord: "What must I forget next?"
The Lord answered that prayer less than a year later.
Early 1976, the late Professor Harold Armstrong, then
editor of the Creation Research Society Quarterly, wrote a note
therein about the diversity of opinions and views in the
Creationist movement. To illustrate the breadth of those views,
he mentioned a Dutch-Canadian named Walter van der Kamp (photo at left) as an
extreme case where a Creationist advocated the literality of
Scripture to the point of a stationary earth. Now as an
undergraduate at the University of Rochester in Rochester, New York,
I'd taken enough relativity theory to know that neither
heliocentrism nor geocentricity could be proven or disproven, and
so I fired off a letter to Walter asking, in effect, "which
I'm afraid that Walter sent more philosophy than Scriptures,
but he did mention Psalms 73 and 104:5. I judged them rather
weak insofar as evidence for geocentricity goes, so I set forth
on a three-week, six-days-per-week, sixteen-hours-per-day study
to determine the truth of the matter insofar as the Bible was
concerned. Because at the time I didn't know where the
Scriptures were to be found, I had to flounder around in the
"original" Hebrew. At the end of the three weeks the best I
could determine that the Scriptures were "probably" geocentric.
My analysis was printed in Walter's Bulletins of the Tychonian
Society, issue No. 13, in 1976. Since then the Scriptural case
has been greatly solidified. Again I prayed, "What must I forget
There was one more thing which the Lord would have me forget.
In the summer of 1977 a fellow geocentrist, James Nolen
Hanson, then Professor of Computer Science at the Cleveland State
University in Cleveland, Ohio, wrote Walter van der Kamp suggesting that if I were to contact him, he might be able to get me a
job teaching computer courses at the Cleveland State University.
I wrote to him and he invited me to his home early that
summer. During my visit, he introduced me to the chairmen of
several departments at C.S.U. and we had hours of discussion in
between. Our main disagreement lay in the area of the inerrancy
of the King James Bible. Jim had the quaint notion that it is
the inerrant preserved word of God in English, if not in the
world. Finally it was late and time to go to sleep. As Jim said
good night, he left me with one final question. If the King
James Bible is not the word of God, then where is it? I had no
answer to that one and after a few minutes thought, I was forced
to the conclusion that the King James Bible is truly the inerrant,
preserved word of God.
In August, Jim called me in Rochester and told me C.S.U.
would extend me a one-year contract to teach FORTRAN, a computer
language. I accepted and moved to Cleveland. A year later he
and I organized the first "geocentricity" conference which drew
speakers from British Columbia to Bulgaria, and from the local
high schools to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Once I dismissed the erroneous humanist teachings, the Lord
opened the door with a career, first at C.S.U. and later,
in 1980, at Baldwin-Wallace College where I am now a tenured full
professor. In 1979 the he provided me with a wife meet for me, and
we have two children, a son, Benjamin, and a daughter, Rachel. I continue
in the calling to warn men that the Bible is infinitely more
reliable than science, and am active at Mantua Country Baptist Church.