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 (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.

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Episodes

  • Episode 228: The Way Up Is Down, with Marlena Graves

    June 9th, 2020  |  38 mins 50 secs

    My guest is Marlena Graves. Her newest book is "The Way Down Is Up." "Now, with God's help, I shall become myself." These words from Danish philosopher Søren Kierkegaard resonate deeply with Marlena Graves, a Puerto Rican writer, professor, and activist. In these pages she describes the process of emptying herself that allows her to move upward toward God and become the true self that God calls her to. Drawing on the rich traditions of Eastern and Western Christian saints, she shares stories and insights that have enlivened her transformation. For Marlena, formation and justice always intertwine on the path to a balanced life of both action and contemplation. If you long for more of God, this book offers a time-honored path to deeper life.

  • Episode 227: Lost In Thought, with Zena Hitz

    June 7th, 2020  |  47 mins 36 secs

    My guest is Zena Hitz. She's the author of "The Intellectual Life." In an overloaded, superficial, technological world, in which almost everything and everybody is judged by its usefulness, where can we turn for escape, lasting pleasure, contemplation, or connection to others? While many forms of leisure meet these needs, Zena Hitz writes, few experiences are so fulfilling as the inner life, whether that of a bookworm, an amateur astronomer, a birdwatcher, or someone who takes a deep interest in one of countless other subjects. Drawing on inspiring examples, from Socrates and Augustine to Malcolm X and Elena Ferrante, and from films to Hitz’s own experiences as someone who walked away from elite university life in search of greater fulfillment, "Lost in Thought" is a passionate and timely reminder that a rich life is a life rich in thought.

  • Episode 226: Monetizing Your Podcast, with Satish Gaire

    June 6th, 2020  |  22 mins 46 secs

    My guest is Satish Gaire. Satish has also started many companies to help businesses. This includes DirectPay, WooAgents, myDentalWebsite, BookSmartr and many more.
    Satish’s mission is to help humanity by spreading the knowledge that he has gained from his many years of doing internet marketing and running his own business. He wants to help others to achieve the same level of success. His ultimate goal is to put a smile on your face, through his podcasts, videos, speeches and courses.

  • Episode 225: Not Forsaken, with Jennifer Michelle Greenberg

    June 4th, 2020  |  36 mins 44 secs

    My guest is Jennifer Michelle Greenberg. She's the author of "Not Forsaken." Jenn Greenberg was abused by her church-going father. Yet she is still a Christian. In this courageous, compelling book, she reflects on how God brought life and hope in the darkest of situations. Jenn shows how the gospel enables survivors to navigate issues of guilt, forgiveness, love, and value. And she challenges church leaders to protect the vulnerable among their congregations. "Not Forsaken" is not an easy read. But, perhaps today more than ever, it is a must-read.

  • Episode 224: The Economics of Health Care in the midst of a Pandemic, with Jordan Al-Zu’Bi

    May 31st, 2020  |  35 mins 24 secs

    My guest is Jordan Al-Zu’Bi. He's an economist who focuses on the health insurance industry. We talk about the health insurance industry and how the pandemic will impact it.

  • Episode 223: Pre and Post President Trump, with Bradley S. Klein and David Shields

    May 30th, 2020  |  1 hr 17 mins

    My guests are Bradley S. Klein and David Shields. Klein has played golf with Trump, written about him as a sports journalist and consulted on his golf courses. David Shields has written one of the most provocative and revealing books about Trump, Nobody Hates Trump More Than Trump. If you're looking for an interesting Trump conversation in the midst of Corona, this is it.

  • Episode 222: Tanking To The Top, with Yaron Weitzman

    May 21st, 2020  |  38 mins 2 secs

    My guest is Yaron Weitzman. He's the author of "Tanking to the Top: The Philadelphia 76ers and the Most Audacious Process in the History of Professional Sports." When a group of private equity bigwigs purchased the Philadelphia 76ers in 2011, the team was both bad and boring. Attendance was down. So were ratings. The Sixers had an aging coach, an antiquated front office, and a group of players that could best be described as mediocre.

    Enter Sam Hinkie -- a man with a plan straight out of the PE playbook, one that violated professional sports' Golden Rule: You play to win the game. In Hinkie's view, the best way to reach first was to embrace becoming the worst -- to sacrifice wins in the present in order to capture championships in the future. And to those dubious, Hinkie had a response: Trust The Process, and the results will follow.

  • Episode 221: A Poet Talks Pandemics, with Bob Holman

    May 18th, 2020  |  34 mins 20 secs

    My guest is Bob Holman. On December 3, 2019, Bowery Books simultaneously released two new books of poetry by Bob Holman—written 50 years apart. LIFE POEM and THE UNSPOKEN serve not only as bookends to a lifetime immersed in words, performance, and the avant garde, but they also show the evolution of an artist, an art form, and a downtown art scene that’s gone from Allen Ginsberg to Lou Reed to Eileen Myles to Mahogany L. Browne. He's also a New Yorker in the midst of the epicenter of the Corona pandemic.

  • Episode 220: Critical Thinking, with Jonathan Haber

    May 18th, 2020  |  41 mins 26 secs

    My guest is Jonathan Haber. He's the author of "Critical Thinking." Critical thinking is regularly cited as an essential twenty-first century skill, the key to success in school and work. Given our propensity to believe fake news, draw incorrect conclusions, and make decisions based on emotion rather than reason, it might even be said that critical thinking is vital to the survival of a democratic society. But what, exactly, is critical thinking? In this volume in the MIT Press Essential Knowledge series, Jonathan Haber explains how the concept of critical thinking emerged, how it has been defined, and how critical thinking skills can be taught and assessed.

  • Episode 219: The Scientific Attitude: Defending Science from Denial, Fraud, and Pseudoscience in the midst of Corona, with Lee McIntyre

    May 17th, 2020  |  54 mins 59 secs

    My guest is Lee McIntyre. He's the author of "The Scientific Attitude: Defending Science from Denial, Fraud, and Pseudoscience." Attacks on science have become commonplace. Claims that climate change isn't settled science, that evolution is “only a theory,” and that scientists are conspiring to keep the truth about vaccines from the public are staples of some politicians' rhetorical repertoire. Defenders of science often point to its discoveries (penicillin! relativity!) without explaining exactly why scientific claims are superior. In this book, Lee McIntyre argues that what distinguishes science from its rivals is what he calls “the scientific attitude”―caring about evidence and being willing to change theories on the basis of new evidence. The history of science is littered with theories that were scientific but turned out to be wrong; the scientific attitude reveals why even a failed theory can help us to understand what is special about science.

  • Episode 218: The Hot Hand, with Ben Cohen

    May 17th, 2020  |  37 mins 46 secs

    For decades, statisticians, social scientists, psychologists, and economists (among them Nobel Prize winners) have spent massive amounts of precious time thinking about whether streaks actually exist. After all, a substantial number of decisions that we make in our everyday lives are quietly rooted in this one question: If something happened before, will it happen again? Is there such a thing as being in the zone? Can someone have a “hot hand”? Or is it simply a case of seeing patterns in randomness? Or, if streaks are possible, where can they be found?

  • Episode 217: Pandemics and Polling, with Patrcick Murray

    May 12th, 2020  |  1 hr 48 secs

    My guest is Patrick Murrary. He was named the Monmouth University Polling Institute’s founding director in 2005. He is frequently called upon by the media to provide commentary on polling and the political world, including appearances on CNN, MSNBC, Fox News, PBS, and National Public Radio. During federal election years, Murray also serves as a national exit poll analyst for major networks. In the institute’s home state, Murray has appeared on numerous Power Lists of the most influential people in New Jersey politics.

  • Episode 216: The Nail in the Tree: Essays on Art, Violence, and Childhood, with Carol Ann Davis

    May 10th, 2020  |  39 mins 53 secs

    My guest is Carol Ann Davis. Her new book "The Nail in the Tree" narrates her experience of raising two sons in Sandy Hook, Connecticut, on the day of and during the aftermath of the shooting there. Part memoir, part art-historical treatise, these meditations lead her to explore crucial subjects, including whether childhood can itself be both violent and generative, the possibility of the integration of trauma into daily life and artistic practice, and the role of the artist. Davis is the author of two previous poetry collections, Psalm (2007) and Atlas Hour (2011), both from Tupelo Press, and a professor of English at Fairfield University.

  • Episode 215: The Reverend Hunter, with Tony Jones

    May 10th, 2020  |  1 hr 4 mins

    My guest is Tony Jones. He's the author of numerous books, including "Did God Kill Jesus?" He also is the host of the Reverend Hunter podcast and the co-host of the Killer Serials podcast.

  • Episode 214: Industrial-Strength Denial: Eight Stories of Corporations Defending the Indefensible, from the Slave Trade to Climate Change, with Barbara Freese

    May 9th, 2020  |  36 mins 10 secs

    My guest is Barbara Freese. Her newest book is "Industrial-Strength Denial: Eight Stories of Corporations Defending the Indefensible, from the Slave Trade to Climate Change." In it she argues that corporations faced with proof that they are hurting people or the planet have a long history of denying evidence, blaming victims, complaining of witch hunts, attacking their critics’ motives, and otherwise rationalizing their harmful activities. Denial campaigns have let corporations continue dangerous practices that cause widespread suffering, death, and environmental destruction. And, by undermining social trust in science and government, corporate denial has made it harder for our democracy to function.

  • Episode 213: Why Conservatives and Liberals Are Not Experiencing the Same Pandemic, with Luke Conway

    May 9th, 2020  |  32 mins 7 secs

    My guest is Luke Conway. He is a professor of psychology at the University of Montana. He just wrote a piece summarizing his research on conservative and liberal experiences of the pandemic.