Someone once observed that if Howard Stern and Krista Tippett had a love child, it would be Scott Jones. Scott liked that.
At "Give and Take,” Scott Jones talks with artists, authors, theologians, and political pundits about the lens through which they experience life. With empathy, humor, and a deep knowledge of religion, current events, and pop culture, Scott engages his guests in a free-flowing conversation that's entertaining, unexpected, occasionally bizarre, and oftentimes enlightening. He likes people, and it shows.
Past interviewees include Mark Oppenheimer, Melissa Febos, David French, Miroslav Volf, Dan Savage, Nadia Bolz-Weber, Rob Bell, and (yes) Krista Tippett.
Scott is the former host and producer of the popular Mockingcast podcast (https://themockingcast.fireside.fm) and an in-demand consultant on all things “pod.” He’s also the co-host, with Bill Borror, of New Persuasive Words (https://npw.fireside.fm). Scott is also a prolific writer, a frequent conference speaker, a PhD candidate in Theology, and an ordained minister.
A New Jersey native, Scott lives with his best friend and wife, Lindy, in the suburbs of Philadelphia with two rescue pit bulls that he swears are sensitive souls.
January 16th, 2019 | 1 hr 5 mins
My guest is Edith Hall. Her newest book is "Aristotle's Way: How Ancient Wisdom Can Change Your Life." In expert yet vibrant modern language, Hall lays out the crux of Aristotle's thinking, mixing affecting autobiographical anecdotes with a deep wealth of classical learning. For Hall, whose own life has been greatly improved by her understanding of Aristotle, this is an intensely personal subject. She distills his ancient wisdom into ten practical and universal lessons to help us confront life's difficult and crucial moments, summarizing a lifetime of the most rarefied and brilliant scholarship.
January 7th, 2019 | 56 mins 16 secs
My guest is Edward J. Watts. In "Mortal Republic", this prize-winning historian offers a new history of the fall of the Roman Republic that explains why Rome exchanged freedom for autocracy. For centuries, even as Rome grew into the Mediterranean's premier military and political power, its governing institutions, parliamentary rules, and political customs successfully fostered negotiation and compromise. By the 130s BC, however, Rome's leaders increasingly used these same tools to cynically pursue individual gain and obstruct their opponents. As the center decayed and dysfunction grew, arguments between politicians gave way to political violence in the streets. The stage was set for destructive civil wars--and ultimately the imperial reign of Augustus.
January 3rd, 2019 | 47 mins 15 secs
My guest is Karen Swallow Prior. Her newest book is "Reading Well: Finding the Good Life through Great Books." Reading great literature well has the power to cultivate virtue. Great literature increases knowledge of and desire for the good life by showing readers what virtue looks like and where vice leads. It is not just what one reads but how one reads that cultivates virtue. Reading good literature well requires one to practice numerous virtues, such as patience, diligence, and prudence. And learning to judge wisely a character in a book, in turn, forms the reader's own character.
December 19th, 2018 | 1 hr 2 mins
My guest is Tal Keinan. His new book "God Is in the Crowd" is an original and provocative blueprint for Judaism in the twenty-first century. Presented through the lens of Tal Keinan’s unusual personal story, it a sobering analysis of the threat to Jewish continuity. As the Jewish people has become concentrated in just two hubs—America and Israel—it has lost the subtle code of governance that endowed Judaism with dynamism and relevance in the age of Diaspora.
December 18th, 2018 | 50 mins 5 secs
My guest is A.J. Jacobs. The idea for his newest book was simple: this New York Times bestselling author decided to thank every single person involved in producing his morning cup of coffee. The resulting journey takes him across the globe, transforms his life, and reveals secrets about how gratitude can make us all happier, more generous, and more connected.
December 17th, 2018 | 56 mins 46 secs
My guest is Michael Horton. His newest book "Justification" is a comprehensive study of the historic Christian doctrine. The doctrine of justification stands at the center of Christian theological reflection on the meaning of salvation as well as our piety, mission, and life together. In his two-volume work on the doctrine of justification, Michael Horton seeks not simply to repeat noble doctrinal formulas and traditional proof texts, but to encounter the remarkable biblical justification texts in conversation with the provocative proposals that, despite a wide range of differences, have reignited the contemporary debates around justification.
December 12th, 2018 | 56 mins 1 sec
My guest is Angela Himsel. Her new book is a memoir entitled "A River Could Be a Tree." From the time she was a young girl, Himsel believed that the Bible was the guidebook to being saved, and only strict adherence to the church's tenets could allow her to escape a certain, gruesome death, receive the Holy Spirit, and live forever in the Kingdom of God. With self-preservation in mind, she decided, at nineteen, to study at The Hebrew University in Jerusalem. But instead of strengthening her faith, Himsel was introduced to a whole new world—one with different people and perspectives.
December 5th, 2018 | 44 mins 32 secs
My guest is Luke Norsworthy. His new book is "God Over Good." It's hard to say that God is good when God isn't always what we expect good to be. A good father wouldn't make it so difficult to get to know him, would he? And if God is all-powerful, wouldn't he ensure that we never suffered? Either our understanding of God is incorrect, or our definition of good is inadequate.
November 30th, 2018 | 52 mins 57 secs
My guest is Chaim Saiman. His newest book is "Halakhah: The Rabbinic Idea of Law." What does it mean for legal analysis to connect humans to God? Can spiritual teachings remain meaningful and at the same time rigidly codified? Can a modern state be governed by such law? Guiding readers across two millennia of richly illuminating perspectives, this book shows how halakhah is not just “law” but an entire way of thinking, being, and knowing.
November 30th, 2018 | 42 mins 43 secs
My guest is Joseph D. Small. How can we reconcile the ideal church described by theology with the broken church that we see in the world? In his newest book Joseph Small argues that the church’s true identity is known somewhere in the tension between the two.
November 30th, 2018 | 40 mins 42 secs
My guest is Martin Cohen. Doctors and nutritionists often disagree with each other, while celebrities and scientists keep pitching us new recipes and special diets. No one thought to ask the philosophers—those rational souls devoted to truth, ethics, and reason—what they think. Until now. That's the subject of Martin Cohen's newest book "I Think, Therefore I Eat: The World's Greatest Minds Tackle The Food Question."
October 29th, 2018 | 33 mins 22 secs
My guest is Andrew Bomback. His new book is "Doctor." It begins with a 3-year-old who asks her physician father about his job, and his inability to provide a succinct and accurate answer inspires a critical look at the profession of modern medicine.
October 25th, 2018 | 52 mins 16 secs
My guest is Brian VanDemark. His newest book "Road to Disaster," draws upon decades of archival research, his own interviews with many of those involved, and a wealth of previously unheard recordings by Robert McNamara and Clark Clifford, who served as Defense Secretaries for Kennedy and Johnson. Yet beyond that, "Road to Disaster" is also the first history of the war to look at the cataclysmic decisions of those in the Kennedy and Johnson administrations through the prism of recent research in cognitive science, psychology, and organizational theory to explain why the "Best and the Brightest" became trapped in situations that suffocated creative thinking and willingness to dissent, why they found change so hard, and why they were so blind to their own errors.
Episode 132: White Picket Fences: Turning Toward Love in a World Divided by Privilege, with Amy Julia Becker
October 24th, 2018 | 42 mins 59 secs
My guest is Amy Julia Becker. Her new book "White Picket Fences: Turning Toward Love in a World Divided by Privilege," welcomes us into her life, from the charm of her privileged southern childhood to her adult experience in the northeast, and the denials she has faced as the mother of a child with special needs. She shows how a life behind a white picket fence can restrict even as it protects, and how it can prevent us from loving our neighbors well.
October 19th, 2018 | 1 hr 17 mins
My guests are Todd McGowan and Ryan Engley. They are the co-hosts of "Why Theory," a podcast that brings continental philosophy and psychoanalytic theory together to examine cultural phenomenon.
October 10th, 2018 | 35 mins 46 secs
My guest is Jackson MacKenzie. Jackson MacKenzie has helped millions of people in their struggle to understand the experience of toxic relationships. His first book, "Psychopath Free," explained how to identify and survive the immediate situation. In "Whole Again," he guides readers on what to do next–how to fully heal from abuse in order to find love and acceptance for the self and others.