Sheler, Jeffery (L.) 1949(?)-

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SHELER, Jeffery (L.) 1949(?)-

PERSONAL:

Born c. 1949, in Grand Rapids, MI. Education: Graduated from Michigan State University, 1971.

ADDRESSES:

Agent—c/o Author Mail, HarperCollins Publishers, 10 East 53rd St., New York, NY 10022.

CAREER:

United Press International, journalist, c. 1971-79; U.S. News & World Report, religion reporter, 1979-2003; freelance journalist, 2003—. Contributor to Religion and Ethics News Weekly, Public Broadcasting System (PBS); frequent guest on radio and television programs.

AWARDS, HONORS:

Apologetics Book of the Year award, Christianity Today, 2000, for Is the Bible True? How Modern Debates and Discoveries Affirm the Essence of the Scriptures.

WRITINGS:

Is the Bible True? How Modern Debates and Discoveries Affirm the Essence of the Scriptures, HarperSanFrancisco (San Francisco, CA), 1999.

SIDELIGHTS:

Jeffery Sheler originally intended to be a minister, but he also had an interest in world affairs, so after graduating from college he became a journalist. He has managed to incorporate his interest in religion into his chosen career, becoming a prominent journalist who has specialized in covering religious issues. From 1989 to 2003 Sheler was the first full-time religion reporter at U.S. News & World Report. While at that magazine, Sheler wrote more than twenty cover stories devoted to religious topics, causing a dramatic expansion in the amount of space that U.S. News & World Report devoted to religious stories.

Sheler's book Is the Bible True? How Modern Debates and Discoveries Affirm the Essence of Scriptures provides "a complete, concise, and reliable overview" of archeological evidence for and current scholarship about the historical accuracy of the Bible, according to Library Journal contributor Eugene O. Bowser. Sheler covers six separate debates, ranging from whether or not the Exodus actually occurred to the true identity of the historical Jesus. Sheler "brings to his task an admirable ability to write lucid prose without technical jargon," D. A. Carlson wrote in Christianity Today. Although the topics covered could be considered controversial, Sheler "rel[ies] on his journalistic sense of balance" and "deftly presents the arguments side by side, allowing lay readers to decide for themselves if the Bible is true," a reviewer noted in Publishers Weekly.

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Booklist, November 15, 1999, Ilene Cooper, review of Is the Bible True? How Modern Debates and Discoveries Affirm the Essence of the Scriptures, p. 582.

Christian Century, October 4, 2003, "Newsmagazines Cut Slots for Religion," p. 15.

Christianity Today, May 22, 2000, D. A. Carson, review of Is the Bible True?, p. 87.

Library Journal, November 15, 1999, Eugene O. Bowser, review of Is the Bible True?, p. 74.

Publishers Weekly, October 25, 1999, review of Is the Bible True?, p. 71.

U.S. News & World Report, December 23, 1995, profile of Sheler, p. 5.

ONLINE

Milligan College Web site,http://www.milligan.edu/ (October 29, 2003), "U.S. News Journalist Speaks on Culture and Christianity."

Religion Newswriters Association Web Site,http://www.religionwriters.com/ (October 29, 2003).*