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.
March 9th, 2021 | 45 mins 42 secs
My guest is Rowan Williams. ‘As we contemplate the coming months, not knowing when we can breathe again, it’s worth thinking about how already the foundations have been laid for whatever new opportunities God has for us on the far side of this crisis.’ Rowan Williams offers these words of wisdom and many more in his new book "Candles in the Dark." This powerful and timely book brings together the 26 weekly Christian meditations originally posted online from March to September 2020, during lockdown in the first wave of the Covid-19 pandemic, for the congregation of his local parish church.
February 11th, 2021 | 58 mins 8 secs
My guest is James Martin, SJ. His newest book is Learning to Pray: A Guide for Everyone. He is a Jesuit priest, editor at large of America magazine, consultor to the Vatican's Secretariat for Communications, and author of numerous books, including the New York Times bestsellers "Jesus: A Pilgrimage" and "The Jesuit Guide to (Almost) Everything." Among his other books, "My Life with the Saints" and "Between Heaven and Mirth" were named by Publishers Weekly as "Best Books" of the year, and three of his books have received Christopher Awards. Father Martin is a frequent commentator in the national and international media, having appeared on all the major networks, and in such diverse outlets as The Colbert Report, Fresh Air, On Being, Fox & Friends, PBS's NewsHour, the New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and The Boston Globe, as well as on the History Channel, BBC, and Vatican Radio. Before entering the Jesuits in 1988, he graduated from the Wharton School of Business.
Episode 249: To Reach the Spring: From Complicity to Consciousness in the Age of Eco-Crisis, with Nathaniel Popkin
February 2nd, 2021 | 1 hr 36 mins
My guest is Nathaniel Popkin. His newest book is "To Reach the Spring: From Complicity to Consciousness in the Age of Eco-Crisis." In the shadow of an escalating eco-crisis—a looming catastrophe that will dwarf the fallout from COVID-19—how can we explain our society’s failure to act? What will we tell future generations? Are we paralyzed because the problem is so vast in scope, or are there deeper reasons for the widespread passivity? Nathaniel Popkin explores the moral, social, and psychological dimensions of the crisis, outlining a path to a future spring.
January 14th, 2021 | 37 mins 4 secs
My guest is Jamie Merisotis. He's the author of "Human Work in the Age of Smart Machines." As computer technology advances with dizzying speed, human workers face an ever-increasing threat of obsolescence. In Human Work In the Age of Smart Machines, Jamie Merisotis argues that we can—and must—rise to this challenge by preparing to work alongside smart machines doing that which only humans can: thinking critically, reasoning ethically, interacting interpersonally, and serving others with empathy. The president and CEO of Lumina Foundation, Merisotis offers a roadmap for the large-scale, radical changes we must make in order to find abundant and meaningful work for ourselves in the 21st century.
January 3rd, 2021 | 1 hr 30 mins
My guests are David Shields, Nick Toti, and Rachel Kempf about The Very Last Interview (Shields' forthcoming book), film-adapted by Toti and Kempf and released this month. Shields is the author of over twenty books including Reality Hunger, Other People, How Literature Saved My Life, The Trouble with Men, That Thing You Do With Your Mouth, etc. While The Very Last Interview will not be released until early 2022 by New York Review Books, Toti released the 30 minute short earlier this month via Vimeo.
October 31st, 2020 | 52 mins 2 secs
My guest if Frederick Schmidt. He holds the Rueben P. Job Chair in Spiritual Formation at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary in Evanston, IL. He's also an Episcopal Priest. He recently wrote a piece entitled "6 Spiritual Truths that Won’t Change with the Election." It's a timely piece for reflection and discussion.
October 13th, 2020 | 45 mins 51 secs
My guest is John Burke. His newest book is "Presidential Playbook 2020: 16 Nonpartisan Solutions to Save America." “And sometime, at some point, do something for your country.” That quote from Pulitzer Prize-winning historian David McCullough resonated so deeply with Trek Bicycle President John Burke that he set out to write a book laying out his vision for the country, an America that can once again be a shining city on a hill.
Episode 244: Healing Politics: A Doctor’s Journey into the Heart of Our Political Epidemic, Abdul El-Sayed
September 26th, 2020 | 37 mins 32 secs
My guest is Abdul El-Sayed. His new book is "Healing Politics: A Doctor’s Journey into the Heart of Our Political Epidemic." From a rising voice in progressive politics, a combination of memoir, science, and public policy, diagnosing the challenges facing America and laying out a way forward
A child of immigrants, Abdul El-Sayed grew up feeling a responsibility to help others. He threw himself into the study of medicine and excelled—winning a Rhodes Scholarship, earning two advanced degrees, and landing a tenure-track position at Columbia University. At 30, he became the youngest city health official in America, tasked with rebuilding Detroit's health department after years of austerity policies.
September 23rd, 2020 | 50 mins 49 secs
My guest is Alan Jacobs. His newest book is "Breaking Bread with the Dead: A Reader's Guide to a More Tranquil Mind." W. H. Auden once wrote that "art is our chief means of breaking bread with the dead." In his brilliant and compulsively readable new treatise, Breaking Bread with the Dead, Alan Jacobs shows us that engaging with the strange and wonderful writings of the past might help us live less anxiously in the present--and increase what Thomas Pynchon once called our "personal density."
Episode 242: Veritas: A Harvard Professor, a Con Man and the Gospel of Jesus's Wife, with Ariel Sabar
September 22nd, 2020 | 44 mins 10 secs
My guest is Ariel Sabar. His newest book is "Veritas: A Harvard Professor, a Con Man and the Gospel of Jesus's Wife." In 2012, Dr. Karen King, a star professor at Harvard Divinity School, announced a blockbuster discovery at a scholarly conference just steps from the Vatican: She had found an ancient fragment of papyrus in which Jesus calls Mary Magdalene "my wife." The tattered manuscript made international headlines. If early Christians believed Jesus was married, it would upend the 2,000-year history of the world's predominant faith, threatening not just the celibate, all-male priesthood but sacred teachings on marriage, sex and women's leadership. Biblical scholars were in an uproar, but King had impeccable credentials as a world-renowned authority on female figures in the lost Christian texts from Egypt known as the Gnostic gospels. "The Gospel of Jesus's Wife"--as she provocatively titled her discovery--was both a crowning career achievement and powerful proof for her arguments that Christianity from its start embraced alternative, and far more inclusive, voices.
September 22nd, 2020 | 36 mins 30 secs
My guest is David Norling. He is a California native, an evangelical refugee, and has a deep interest in spirituality, spiritual direction, and human flourishing. We spend time talking about his own spiritual biography and journey. We also talk narrative therapy and spiritual direction.
September 2nd, 2020 | 1 hr 3 mins
My guest is Mike McHargue. His newest book is "You're a Miracle (and a Pain in the Ass)." Why is there such a gap between what you want to do and what you actually do? The host of Ask Science Mike explains why our desires and our real lives are so wildly different—and what you can do to close the gap, in this his newest book.
September 2nd, 2020 | 33 mins 42 secs
My guest is Todd Drezner. His newest film is "The Campaign of Miner Bo." It’s probably safe to say that Bo Copley never expected to run for U.S. Senate. A lifelong resident of Mingo County, West Virginia, Copley worked in the coal industry for 11 years until he was laid off on September 18, 2015...In May of 2016, Copley was invited to join a roundtable discussion with Hillary Clinton, who was campaigning in West Virginia before the state’s presidential primary. Copley, his voice breaking, showed Clinton a picture of his three children and challenged her assertion that she was a friend to coal miners. Copley’s raw emotion broke through the usual campaign chatter, and throughout the campaign, he was a regular on cable news...Copley tried to take advantage of his surprise political celebrity by running for the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate in 2018. But without money, experience, or a traditional campaign infrastructure, he quickly discovered that being a politician is harder than it looks.
August 27th, 2020 | 1 hr 8 mins
My guest is Richard Kreitner. His new book is "Break It Up: Secession, Division, and the Secret History of America's Imperfect Union." The novel and fiery thesis of Break It Up is simple: The United States has never lived up to its name—and never will. The disunionist impulse may have found its greatest expression in the Civil War, but as Break It Up shows, the seduction of secession wasn’t limited to the South or the nineteenth century. It was there at our founding and has never gone away.
August 6th, 2020 | 1 hr 34 mins
My guest is David Shields. He's the author of numerous books including "Nobody Hates Trump More Than Trump: An Intervention." It can be read in a variety of ways: as a psychological investigation of Trump, as a philosophical meditation on the relationship between language and power, as a satirical compilation of the “collected wit and wisdom of Donald Trump,” and above all as a dagger into the rhetoric of American political discourse—a dissection of the politesse that gave rise to and sustains Trump. The book’s central thesis is that we have met the enemy and he is us. Who else but David Shields would make such an argument, let alone pull it off with such intelligence, brio, and wit, not to mention leaked off-air transcripts from Fox News?
August 2nd, 2020 | 44 mins 2 secs
My guest is David Gessner. His newest book is "Leave It As It Is: A Journey Through Theodore Roosevelt's American Wilderness." “Leave it as it is,” Theodore Roosevelt announced while viewing the Grand Canyon for the first time. “The ages have been at work on it and man can only mar it.” Roosevelt’s rallying cry signaled the beginning of an environmental fight that still wages today. To reconnect with the American wilderness and with the president who courageously protected it, acclaimed nature writer and New York Times bestselling author David Gessner embarks on a great American road trip guided by Roosevelt’s crusading environmental legacy.