Dordt College News

New book by Schelhaas at May 6 event

April 30, 2007

The God of Material Things

Author David Schelhaas, Sioux Center, will read from his newly released book, The God of Material Things, on Sunday, May 6 at 8 p.m. in Dordt College’s Science Building Lecture Hall S101.

The God of Material Things is a book of poems, many of which Schelhaas says he “found” along the streets of Sioux Center while walking to work each morning over the course of nearly 20 years. The title poem speaks of God as creator, who makes all kinds of things and speaks through his creation, including people.

The God of Material Things gives you new eyes and ears to fall in love with God’s birds (including crows), juicy watermelons, and the punch of crab tree blossoms’ fragrance in your face come May,” says Calvin Seerveld, professor emeritus at the Institute for Christian Studies. Seerveld says Shelhaas’s poetry brims with joyfulness for both novice and seasoned readers to grow on and revel in.

“Schelhaas deserves our thanks for paying attention, and for sharing his ‘noticings’ in graceful and grace-filled lines,” says Laura Apol, author of Crossing the Ladder of Sun, who calls the book part confession, part celebration, and a collection of moments that are easy to miss when you’re caught up in the process of living them.


Schelhaas is a professor of English at Dordt College, and has been teaching high school and college English for over 40 years. In 2003 he published the book Angling in the English Stream: 100 Ordinary English Words: Caught, Filleted, and Served Up in Tasty Little Essays. In 2003 the Iowa Council of Teachers of English presented Schelhaas with a Literacy Award.

Professor Schelhaas received his B. A. from Calvin College and an M. A. at Florida State University. He has been widely published in religious journals and has also written articles for the English Journal. He also has a weekly radio program called “What’s the Good Word?” in which he analyzes an ordinary English word, trying to communicate something of the sense of wonder he feels at the meandering journeys the meanings of words have taken as they have been used over centuries.

The God of Material Things is published by Dordt College Press, and is available at the Dordt College Bookstore. Click here to order online or order via phone at (712) 722-6420.

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