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.

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  • Episode 63: Babette's Feast, with Julia Beardsley O'Brien and Abigail Killeen

    November 8th, 2017  |  1 hr 28 secs

    Babette’s Feast tells the story of how a refugee transforms a closed religious community by sacrificing all she has to throw a lavish dinner party. Through her radical hospitality, this mysterious woman converts her guests’ deeply held notions of scarcity and judgment and opens them up to give and receive abundant grace. My guests, Julia Beardsley O'Brien and Abigail Kileen, have adapted the story for the stage. This adaptation re-imagines the story you thought you knew about Babette’s singular feast: deep, funny, dangerous, sensual, and beautiful.

  • Episode 62: Philadelphia: Finding The Hidden City, with Nathaniel Popkin

    November 4th, 2017  |  58 mins 33 secs

    My guest is Nathaniel Popkin. Why is Philadelphia the “Hidden City?” What makes it distinctive in the landscape of American cities? And why does it matter? These are the questions Hidden City Daily co-founders Peter Woodall and Nathaniel Popkin and Hidden City Festival photographer Joseph E.B. Elliott seek to answer in the new book, "Philadelphia: Finding the Hidden City."

  • Episode 61: When Dust Becomes Mercy, with Tullian Tchividjian

    October 30th, 2017  |  1 hr 9 mins

    Tullian Tchividjian is the grandson of Billy Graham. He's written several award winning books. He's been a celebrated preacher and pastor. Then his life fell apart. He lost his marriage and his church and he wanted to end it all. Then he found hope. If hope is what you need, this is the conversation for you.

  • Episode 60: The Zombie Gospel, with Danielle Strickland

    October 20th, 2017  |  42 mins 15 secs

    My guest is Danielle Strickland. Her newest book, "The Zombie Gospel", explores the spiritual and existential themes in the wildly popular television series "The Walking Dead."

  • Episode 59: Thanks, Obama...My Hopey, Changey White House Years, with David Litt

    October 18th, 2017  |  41 mins 48 secs

    David Litt entered the White House in 2011 and left in 2016 as a special assistant to the president and senior presidential speechwriter. Described as the “comic muse for the president." Full of hilarious stories and told in a truly original voice, his first book, "Thanks, Obama" is an exciting debut about what it means – personally, professionally, and politically – to grow up.

  • Episode 58: Same Kind Of Different As Me, with Darren Moorman

    October 11th, 2017  |  36 mins 54 secs

    My guest is Darren Moorman. He's produced numerous feature films. His most recent film, "Same Kind Of Difference As Me", premiers on October 20th. It stars Renee Zellweger, Greg Kinnear, Djimon Hounsou and John Voight.

  • Episode 57: The American Religious Landscape, with Robert P. Jones

    October 10th, 2017  |  40 mins 40 secs

    My guest today is Robert P. Jones. He's the CEO of the Public Religion Research Institute, and the author of several books, including "The End of White Christian America." The American religious landscape has undergone dramatic changes in the last decade and is more diverse today than at any time since modern sociological measurements began. PRRI’s 2016 American Values Atlas is the single largest survey of American religious and denominational identity ever conducted.

  • Episode 56: Sucking Up: A Brief Consideration of Sycophancy, with Deborah & Mark Parker

    October 5th, 2017  |  46 mins 35 secs

    My guests are Deborah and Mark Parker. Deborah Parker is Professor of Italian at the University of Virginia. Mark Parker is Professor of English at James Madison University. They are coauthors of Inferno Revealed: From Dante to Dan Brown, and most recently, Sucking Up: A Brief Consideration of Sycophancy.

  • Episode 55: How To Think: A Survival Guide For A World At Odds, With Alan Jacobs

    October 2nd, 2017  |  1 hr 6 mins

    My guest is Alan Jacobs. His most recent book is "How To Think: A Survival Guide For A World At Odds." As a celebrated cultural critic and a writer for national publications like The Atlantic and Harper’s, Alan Jacobs has spent his adult life belonging to communities that often clash in America’s culture wars. And in his years of confronting the big issues that divide us—political, social, religious—Jacobs has learned that many of our fiercest disputes occur not because we’re doomed to be divided, but because the people involved simply aren’t thinking.

  • Episode 54: Vintage Saints And Sinners, with Karen Wright Marsh

    September 29th, 2017  |  49 mins 7 secs

    Karen Wright Marsh is executive director and cofounder of Theological Horizons, a university ministry that has advanced theological scholarship at the intersection of faith, thought, and life since 1991. Her new book is "Vintage Saints And Sinners: 25 Christians Who Transformed My Faith."

  • Episode 53: Havana Without Makeup, with Herman Portocarero

    September 26th, 2017  |  58 mins 6 secs

    My guest is Herman Portocarero. He is a Belgian-born writer and diplomat of Spanish and Portuguese descent. He has published more than twenty works of fiction and nonfiction, including the Hercule Poirot Prize-winning crime novel New Yorkse Nachten (New York Nights). He is just finished his term as the European Union ambassador to Cuba. His newest book is "Havana Without Makeup: Inside The Soul Of The City."

  • Episode 52: Midlife: A Philosophical Guide, with Kieran Setiya

    September 22nd, 2017  |  1 hr 16 mins

    My guest is Kieran Setiya. He teaches philosophy at MIT, working mainly in ethics, epistemology, and the philosophy of mind. He's the author of "Reasons without Rationalism" and "Knowing Right From Wrong." His most recent book is "Midlife: A Philosophical Guide." It comes out on October 3, 2017.

  • Episode 51: Abandon Me, with Melissa Febos

    September 21st, 2017  |  1 hr 16 mins

    My guest is Melissa Febos. She's the author of two critically acclaimed memoirs, "Whip Smart" and "Abandon Me". Her work has been widely anthologized and appears in publications including Tin House, Granta, The Kenyon Review, Prairie Schooner, Glamour, Guernica, Post Road, Salon, The New York Times, Elle UK, The Guardian,, Hunger Mountain, Portland Review, Dissent, The Chronicle of Higher Education Review, Bitch Magazine, Poets & Writers, The Rumpus, Drunken Boat, and Goodbye to All That: Writers on Loving and Leaving New York.

  • Episode 50: Reading Jesus's Bible, with John Goldingay

    September 14th, 2017  |  1 hr 19 secs

    My guest is John Goldingay. John is the David Allan Hubbard Professor of Old Testament at Fuller Theological Seminary. He has been at Fuller since 1997. He's author of numerous books, including most recently, "Reading Jesus's Bible: How the New Testament Helps Us Understand the Old Testament." He was married to Ann for 43 years until she died in 2009. He is now married to Kathleen and the two of them are well-known in jazz and other clubs in the Los Angeles area.

  • Episode 49: Recapturing the Wonder: Transcendent Faith in a Disenchanted World, with Mike Cosper

    September 2nd, 2017  |  1 hr 9 mins

    My guest is Mike Cosper. He's the author of "Rhythms of Grace" and "The Stories We Tell" (both published by Crossway Books), the co-author of "Faithmapping. His newest book is "Recapturing the Wonder: Transcendent Faith in a Disenchanted World." He's the host of Cultivated: A Podcast about Faith and Work, and is developing The Devil and the Deep Blue Sea, a podcast about faith and culture.

  • Episode 48: Single, Gay, Christian (and celibate), with Gregory Coles

    August 29th, 2017  |  50 mins 56 secs

    My guest is Gregory Coles. He was born in upstate New York, wasraised on the Indonesian island of Java, and is now a PhD candidate studying English in central Pennsylvania. He's the author of "Single, Gay, Christian: A Personal Journey Of Faith And Sexual Identity."