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.
Episode 207: The Power Worshipers: Inside the Dangerous Rise of Religious Nationalism, with Katherine Stewart
April 28th, 2020 | 51 mins 45 secs
My guest is Katherine Stewart. Her newest book is "The Power Worshippers: Inside the Dangerous Rise of Religious Nationalism." For too long, she argues, the Religious Right has masqueraded as a social movement preoccupied with a number of cultural issues, such as abortion and same-sex marriage. In her deeply reported investigation, Katherine Stewart reveals a disturbing truth: this is a political movement that seeks to gain power and to impose its vision on all of society. America’s religious nationalists aren’t just fighting a culture war, they are waging a political war on the norms and institutions of American democracy.
April 18th, 2020 | 1 hr 4 mins
My guest is Isaac Ariail Reed. He's the author of "Power in Modernity: Agency Relations and the Creative Destruction of the King’s Two Bodies." In it he proposes a bold new theory of power that describes overlapping networks of delegation and domination. Chains of power and their representation, linking together groups and individuals across time and space, create a vast network of intersecting alliances, subordinations, redistributions, and violent exclusions. Reed traces the common action of “sending someone else to do something for you” as it expands outward into the hierarchies that control territories, persons, artifacts, minds, and money.
April 15th, 2020 | 1 hr 50 mins
My guest is David French. He is a senior editor for The Dispatch and was formerly a senior writer for National Review. David is a New York Times bestselling author, and his next book, The Great American Divorce, will be published by St. Martin’s Press later this year. He is a graduate of Harvard Law School, the past president of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, and a former lecturer at Cornell Law School. He has served as a senior counsel for the American Center for Law and Justice and the Alliance Defending Freedom. David is a former major in the United States Army Reserve. In 2007, he deployed to Iraq, serving in Diyala Province as Squadron Judge Advocate for the 2nd Squadron, 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment, where he was awarded the Bronze Star. He lives and works in Franklin, Tennessee, with his wife, Nancy, and his three children.
April 13th, 2020 | 38 mins 3 secs
My guest is Daniel Cohen. Rabbi Cohen is the author of "What Will They Say About You When You Are Gone? Creating a Life of Legacy." He is co-host of the nationally syndicated radio show, The Rabbi and the Reverend, with Reverend Greg Doll, writes for the Huffington Post Blog, and is a Bottom Line Inc. Expert. He serves as Senior Rabbi of Congregation Agudath Sholom, the largest modern orthodox synagogue in New England.
February 26th, 2020 | 45 mins 16 secs
My guest is Thane Rosenbaum. His newest book is "Saving Free Speech...from Itself." In an era of political correctness, race-baiting, terrorist incitement, the ‘Danish’ cartoons, the shouting down of speakers, and, of course, ‘fake news,’ liberals and conservatives are up in arms both about speech and its excesses, and what the First Amendment means. Speech has been weaponized. Everyone knows it, but no one seems to know how to make sense of the current confusion, and what to do about it. Thane Rosenbaum’s provocative and compelling book is what is needed to understand this important issue at the heart of our society and politics.
February 18th, 2020 | 43 mins 33 secs
My guest is Katherine Rowland. Tens of millions of American women are dissatisfied with their sex lives. In her provocative and meticulously researched new book, "The Pleasure Gap: American Women and the Unfinished Sexual Revolution", Katherine Rowland, a public health researcher and journalist explores our culture's troubled relationship with women's sexuality and the many complex factors that have thrust us into an epidemic of low desire, guilt, and experiencing sex as a form of labor rather than an act of lust.
January 20th, 2020 | 52 mins 22 secs
My guest is Richard Beck. His new book is "Trains, Jesus, and Murder: The Gospel according to Johnny Cash." "Saints and sinners, all jumbled up together." That's the genius of Johnny Cash, and that's what the gospel is ultimately all about.Johnny Cash sang about and for people on the margins. He famously played concerts in prisons, where he sang both murder ballads and gospel tunes in the same set. It's this juxtaposition between light and dark, writes Richard Beck, that makes Cash one of the most authentic theologians in memory.
December 5th, 2019 | 57 mins 50 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.
Episode 199: How to Start a Revolution: Young People and the Future of American Politics, with Lauren Duca
December 4th, 2019 | 54 mins 54 secs
My guest is Lauren Duca. Her new book is "How to Start a Revolution: Young People and the Future of American Politics." In it this Teen Vogue award-winning columnist shares a smart and funny guide for challenging the status quo in a much-needed reminder that young people are the ones who will change the world.
November 13th, 2019 | 49 mins 16 secs
My guest is Craig M. Gay. His newest book is "Modern Technology and the Human Future: A Christian Appraisal." Technology is not neutral. From the plow to the printing press, technology has always shaped human life and informed our understanding of what it means to be human. And advances in modern technology, from computers to smartphones, have yielded tremendous benefits. But do these developments actually encourage human flourishing? Craig Gay raises concerns about the theological implications of modern technologies and of philosophical movements such as transhumanism.
November 12th, 2019 | 1 hr 9 mins
My guest is Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove. His newest book is "Revolution of Values: Reclaiming Public Faith for the Common Good." In it he argues that the religious Right taught America to misread the Bible. Christians have misused Scripture to consolidate power, stoke fears, and defend against enemies. But people who have been hurt by the attacks of Christian nationalism can help us rediscover God's vision for faith in public life. Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove explores how religious culture wars have misrepresented Christianity at the expense of the poor, and how listening to marginalized communities can help us hear God's call to love and justice in the world.
November 8th, 2019 | 50 mins 27 secs
My guest is Tara Ross. She is the author of "Why We Need the Electoral College." Is the Electoral College anti-democratic? Some would say yes. After all, the presidential candidate with the most popular votes has nevertheless lost the election at least three times, including 2016. To some Americans, that’s a scandal. They believe the Electoral College is an intolerable flaw in the Constitution, a relic of a bygone era that ought to have been purged long ago. But that would be a terrible mistake, warns Tara Ross in this vigorous defense of “the indispensable Electoral College.” Far from an obstacle to enlightened democracy, Ross argues, the Electoral College is one of the guardrails ensuring the stability of the American Republic.
November 7th, 2019 | 39 mins 49 secs
My guest is Marilee Albert. Her new novel is "The Tutor." In it recent Yale grad, Alice, wants to be close to her boyfriend in Paris, with enough space to sow a few oats. Rome fits, so off she goes. Her other goals? To make art and find a muse. Instead, she finds herself a muse to various men―including a TV-host dwarf, lonely banker, alcoholic playboy, aging prince, and the disillusioned Oscar-winning film director, Frank Colucci.
Episode 194: Here All Along: Finding Meaning, Spirituality, and a Deeper Connection to Life--in Judaism (After Finally Choosing to Look There), with Sarah Hurwitz
November 1st, 2019 | 1 hr 4 mins
My guest is Sarah Hurwitz. Her new book is "Here All Along: Finding Meaning, Spirituality, and a Deeper Connection to Life--in Judaism (After Finally Choosing to Look There)." After a decade as a political speechwriter—serving as head speechwriter for First Lady Michelle Obama, a senior speechwriter for President Barack Obama, and chief speechwriter for Hillary Clinton on her 2008 presidential campaign—Sarah Hurwitz decided to apply her skills as a communicator to writing a book . . . about Judaism. And no one is more surprised than she is.
October 30th, 2019 | 45 mins
My guest is Alberto Cairo. His new book is "How Charts Lie: Getting Smarter about Visual Information." In it this leading data visualization expert explores the negative―and positive―influences that charts have on our perception of truth. We’ve all heard that a picture is worth a thousand words, but what if we don’t understand what we’re looking at? Social media has made charts, infographics, and diagrams ubiquitous―and easier to share than ever. We associate charts with science and reason; the flashy visuals are both appealing and persuasive. Pie charts, maps, bar and line graphs, and scatter plots (to name a few) can better inform us, revealing patterns and trends hidden behind the numbers we encounter in our lives. In short, good charts make us smarter―if we know how to read them.
October 29th, 2019 | 55 mins 48 secs
My guest is Nicholas Buccola. His new book is "The Fire Is upon Us: James Baldwin, William F. Buckley Jr., and the Debate over Race in America." On February 18, 1965, an overflowing crowd packed the Cambridge Union in Cambridge, England, to witness a historic televised debate between James Baldwin, the leading literary voice of the civil rights movement, and William F. Buckley Jr., a fierce critic of the movement and America's most influential conservative intellectual. The topic was "the American dream is at the expense of the American Negro," and no one who has seen the debate can soon forget it. Nicholas Buccola's The Fire Is upon Us is the first book to tell the full story of the event, the radically different paths that led Baldwin and Buckley to it, the controversies that followed, and how the debate and the decades-long clash between the men continues to illuminate America's racial divide today.