Give and Take

Conversations at the Heart of the Matter

About the show

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 ( and an in-demand consultant on all things “pod.” He’s also the co-host, with Bill Borror, of New Persuasive Words ( Scott is also a prolific writer, a frequent conference speaker, a PhD candidate in Theology, and an ordained minister.

Give and Take on social media


  • Episode 262: The Cultural Politics of the WNBA, with David Shields and Josh Rosenblatt

    June 21st, 2024  |  1 hr 23 mins

    In this episode Scott talks with authors David Shields and Josh Rosenblatt about the cultural politics of the WNBA. Much has been made of two of the NBA's prominent stars: Caitlin Clark and Angel Reese. What are the racial and political implications of the coverage of these two athletes? What do they tell us about wider American culture as a whole in a tense election season?

  • Episode 261: Being a Wartime Rabbi, with Rabbi Raphael Davidovich

    February 28th, 2024  |  1 hr 19 mins

    In this episode we are joined by Raphael Davidovich. He is the Rabbi of Cleveland's friendliest Orthodox schule. We touch on a host of issues including and especially what it means to be an American Rabbi when Israel is at war.

  • Episode 260: Doing Faith Holistically, with Rabbi Uri Allen

    October 15th, 2023  |  1 hr 1 min

    My guest is Rabbi Uri Allen. Rabbi Uri Allen is a guitar-playing Abba of three who loves cooking, traveling around the country to see his favorite band Phish and learning Torah. His passions
    in the rabbinate are in educating and teaching learners of all ages, working with young families like his own, and using music to add contour and depth to Jewish rituals and life. We had a great interfaith conversation that touched everything under the sun.

  • Episode 259: The Einstein Effect: How the World's Favorite Genius Got into Our Cars, Our Bathrooms, and Our Minds, with Benyamin Cohen

    October 6th, 2023  |  42 mins 54 secs

    My guest is Benyamin Cohen. Benyamin Cohen manages the official social media accounts of Albert Einstein. He is the News Director of the Forward and was the founding editor of both Jewsweek and American Jewish Life magazine. His newest book is The Einstein Effect: How the World's Favorite Genius Got into Our Cars, Our Bathrooms, and Our Minds. It's a fascinating look into how Einstein's genius and science continues to show up in so many facets of our everyday lives and his enduring legacy as an unlikely pop culture icon.

  • Episode 258: Humanism, Healing and Hope, with Jane Rosenzweig

    October 4th, 2023  |  49 mins 14 secs

    My guest is Jane Rosenzweig. Jane has spent a career working in the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion field in corporate America. She and I also spend entirely too much time on an app called Clubhouse, which is where we met.

  • Episode 257: You're Only Human, with Kelly Kapic

    December 16th, 2021  |  1 hr 5 mins

    My guest is Kelly Kapic. Work. Family. Church. Exercise. Sleep.

    The list of demands on our time seems to be never ending. It can leave you feeling a little guilty--like you should always be doing one more thing.

    Rather than sharing better time-management tips to squeeze more hours out of the day, Kelly Kapic takes a different approach in You're Only Human. He offers a better way to make peace with the fact that God didn't create us to do it all.

  • Episode 256: Saving Grace: Speak Your Truth, Stay Centered, and Learn to Coexist with People Who Drive You Nuts, with Kirsten Powers

    October 13th, 2021  |  58 mins 44 secs

    My guest is Kirsten Powers. Her new book is "Saving Grace: Speak Your Truth, Stay Centered, and Learn to Coexist with People Who Drive You Nuts." In it this CNN senior political analyst and USA Today columnist offers a path to navigating the toxic division in our culture without compromising our convictions and emotional well-being, based on her experience as a journalist during the Trump era, interviews with experts, and research on what leads people to actually change their minds.

  • Episode 255: The Rise of Post-Liberal Man

    July 29th, 2021  |  54 mins 17 secs

    My guest is Mathis Bitton. He is a student of political theory at Yale University. His writing focuses on liberalism and its discontents, Confucian and Islamic thought, city-states, and institution-building. You can follow him on Twitter at @mlbitton.

  • Episode 254: The 40 Day Challenge, with Rabbi Mark Wildes

    July 26th, 2021  |  46 mins 12 secs

    My guest is Mark Wildes. His newest book is "The 40 Day Challenge".

    Sometimes we are spiritually frozen. This book will thaw you out and heat you up - Nissim Black, Rapper and Businessman

    Written in an approachable, uplifting, and accessible style, The 40 Day Challenge is an invitation for people who believe there is more to life than the daily grind. It offers the reader easily digestible and compact Jewish wisdom, each day for the 40 days from Rosh Chodesh Elul leading up to Yom Kippur. Each daily reading is followed by a challenge question so it can serve as a spiritual diary as you approach the High Holidays. This year, instead of just “showing up,” prepare yourself with a Torah insight written by MJE Founder Rabbi Mark Wildes, who has spent his life inspiring Jews from all walks of life.

  • Episode 253: Supreme Court Recap, with Steve Krone

    June 18th, 2021  |  1 hr 11 mins

    My guest is Steve Krone. In addition to being an entertainment lawyer and a prolific film producer, he also was a Supreme Court clerk for Justices William J. Brennan, Jr. and David H. Souter. We talked about the two significant decisions the Supreme Court handed down this week. We also chatted a bit about film.

  • Episode 252: Talking Politics, Pop-Culture, and Podcasting, with Roifield Brown

    May 19th, 2021  |  1 hr 8 mins

    In this episode I talk with Roifield Brown. Roifield Brown is an experienced podcaster and media strategist, with an impressive track record of helping companies enhance and grow their media properties to diverse audiences across a wide range of categories, including politics, history, culture and entertainment.

  • Episode 251: Candles in the Dark, with Rowan Williams

    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.

  • Episode 250: Everybody Prays, with James Martin

    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.

  • Episode 248: Human Work in the Age of Smart Machines, with Jamie Merisotis

    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.

  • Episode 247: The Very Last Interview: with David Shields, Nick Toti, and Rachel Kempf

    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.