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.

A New Jersey native, Scott lives with his best friend and wife, Lindy, in the suburbs of Philadelphia with two rescue pit bulls that he swears are sensitive souls.

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  • Episode 154: The Girl In The Back, with Laura Davis-Chanin

    March 22nd, 2019  |  43 mins 48 secs

    My guest is Laura Davis-Chanin. Her new book is "The Girl In The Back: A Female Drummer's Life with Bowie, Blondie and the '70s Rock Scene." Nineteen seventy-seven. New York City. Dark. Dangerous. Thrilling. Punk Rock. Blondie. David Bowie. Drinking. Drugs. Happening at the speed of light. Seventeen-year old Laura quaking within her skin while the bursting punk rock revolution explodes around her starts a band with her teenage friends called the Student Teachers. She's the drummer. They play legendary clubs CBGB and Max's Kansas City. They rehearse madly write songs and tour the East Coast, all between final exams at school. In comes Jimmy Destri from Blondie. He thinks the Student Teachers are terrific! And then he falls in love with Laura. He pulls her into the glamorous life of Blondie and introduces her to David Bowie.

  • Episode 153: The Trouble With Men, with David Shields

    March 21st, 2019  |  1 hr 6 mins

    My guest is David Shields. His new book, "The Trouble with Men: Reflections on Sex, Love, Marriage, Porn, and Power" is an immersion into the perils, limits, and possibilities of human intimacy. All at once a love letter to his wife, a nervy reckoning with his own fallibility, a meditation on the impact of porn on American culture, and an attempt to understand marriage (one marriage, the idea of marriage, all marriages), "The Trouble with Men" is exquisitely balanced between the personal and the anthropological, nakedness and restraint.

  • Episode 152: First the Jews: Combating the World’s Longest-Running Hate Campaign, Evan Moffic

    March 11th, 2019  |  52 mins 4 secs

    My guest is Rabbi Evan Moffic. His newest book is "First the Jews: Combating the World’s Longest-Running Hate Campaign." News reports of and statistics about defaced synagogues and death threats against community centers are on the rise around the world. A rise in anti-Semitism from the right side of the political spectrum has been accompanied by a different kind of anti-Semitism from parts of the left revolving around the state of Israel.

  • Episode 151: In this World of Wonders, with Nicholas Wolterstorff

    March 5th, 2019  |  1 hr 3 mins

    My guest is Nicholas Wolterstorff. World-renowned Christian philosopher. Beloved professor. Author of the classic "Lament for a Son." Nicholas Wolterstorff is all of these and more. His memoir, "In This World of Wonders," opens a remarkable new window into the life and thought of this remarkable man.

  • Episode 150: Hustle and Gig: Struggling and Surviving in the Sharing Economy, with Alexandrea J. Ravenelle

    February 13th, 2019  |  45 mins 51 secs

    My guest is Alexandrea Ravenelle. Her new book is "Hustle and Gig." Choose your hours, choose your work, be your own boss, control your own income. Welcome to the sharing economy, a nebulous collection of online platforms and apps that promise to transcend capitalism. Supporters argue that the gig economy will reverse economic inequality, enhance worker rights, and bring entrepreneurship to the masses. But does it?

  • Episode 149: The Middleman, with Olen Steinhauer

    February 8th, 2019  |  51 mins 32 secs

    My guest is Olen Steinhauer. With "The Middleman", the perfect thriller for our tumultuous, uneasy time, Olen Steinhauer, the New York Times bestselling author of ten novels, including "The Tourist" and "The Cairo Affair", delivers a compelling portrait of a nation on the edge of revolution, and the deepest motives of the men and women on the opposite sides of the divide.

  • Episode 148: A Bright Future: How Some Countries Have Solved Climate Change and the Rest Can Follow, with Joshua S. Goldstein

    February 6th, 2019  |  51 mins 1 sec

    My guest is Joshua S. Goldstein. His newest book, co-authored with Staffan A. Qvist, is "A Bright Future: How Some Countries Have Solved Climate Change and the Rest Can Follow." As climate change quickly approaches a series of turning points that guarantee disastrous outcomes, a solution is hiding in plain sight. Several countries have already replaced fossil fuels with low-carbon energy sources, and done so rapidly, in one to two decades. By following their methods, we could decarbonize the global economy by midcentury, replacing fossil fuels even while world energy use continues to rise. But so far we have lacked the courage to really try.

  • Episode 147: How To Be Loved, with Eva Hagberg Fisher

    February 1st, 2019  |  42 mins 26 secs

    My guest is Eva Hagberg Fisher. Her new book, "How To Be Loved", is a luminous memoir about how friendship saved one woman’s life, for anyone who has loved a friend who was sick, grieving, or lost—and for anyone who has struggled to seek or accept help. Eva Hagberg Fisher spent her lonely youth looking everywhere for connection: drugs, alcohol, therapists, boyfriends, girlfriends. Sometimes she found it, but always temporarily. Then, at age thirty, an undiscovered mass in her brain ruptured. So did her life. A brain surgery marked only the beginning of a long journey, and when her illness hit a critical stage, it forced her to finally admit the long‑suppressed truth: she was vulnerable, she needed help, and she longed to grow. She needed true friendship for the first time.

  • Episode 146: Healing a Community: Lessons for Recovery after a Large-Scale Trauma, with Melissa Glaser

    January 25th, 2019  |  38 mins 27 secs

    My guest is Melissa Glaser. Her new book is "Healing a Community: Lessons for Recovery after a Large-Scale Trauma." After the horrific tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, local caregivers, civic leaders, and first responders had the daunting task of navigating emotional and physical trauma as they stitched their community back together. The recovery process takes years, and as the coordinator of the Newtown Recovery and Resiliency Team, Melissa Glaser managed the town’s response. She developed a unique set of therapeutic and transferable best practices that other communities can learn from. The impact of an intense media presence and the long-term financial needs of recovery work are also included in "Healing a Community."

  • Episode 145: Aristotle's Way: How Ancient Wisdom Can Change Your Life, with Edith Hall

    January 16th, 2019  |  1 hr 5 mins

    My guest is Edith Hall. Her newest book is "Aristotle's Way: How Ancient Wisdom Can Change Your Life." In expert yet vibrant modern language, Hall lays out the crux of Aristotle's thinking, mixing affecting autobiographical anecdotes with a deep wealth of classical learning. For Hall, whose own life has been greatly improved by her understanding of Aristotle, this is an intensely personal subject. She distills his ancient wisdom into ten practical and universal lessons to help us confront life's difficult and crucial moments, summarizing a lifetime of the most rarefied and brilliant scholarship.

  • Episode 144: Mortal Republic: How Rome Fell Into Tyranny, Edward J. Watts

    January 7th, 2019  |  56 mins 16 secs

    My guest is Edward J. Watts. In "Mortal Republic", this prize-winning historian offers a new history of the fall of the Roman Republic that explains why Rome exchanged freedom for autocracy. For centuries, even as Rome grew into the Mediterranean's premier military and political power, its governing institutions, parliamentary rules, and political customs successfully fostered negotiation and compromise. By the 130s BC, however, Rome's leaders increasingly used these same tools to cynically pursue individual gain and obstruct their opponents. As the center decayed and dysfunction grew, arguments between politicians gave way to political violence in the streets. The stage was set for destructive civil wars--and ultimately the imperial reign of Augustus.

  • Episode 143: Reading Well: Finding the Good Life through Great Books, with Karen Swallow Prior

    January 3rd, 2019  |  47 mins 15 secs

    My guest is Karen Swallow Prior. Her newest book is "Reading Well: Finding the Good Life through Great Books." Reading great literature well has the power to cultivate virtue. Great literature increases knowledge of and desire for the good life by showing readers what virtue looks like and where vice leads. It is not just what one reads but how one reads that cultivates virtue. Reading good literature well requires one to practice numerous virtues, such as patience, diligence, and prudence. And learning to judge wisely a character in a book, in turn, forms the reader's own character.

  • Episode 142: God Is In The Crowd, with Tal Keinan

    December 19th, 2018  |  1 hr 2 mins

    My guest is Tal Keinan. His new book "God Is in the Crowd" is an original and provocative blueprint for Judaism in the twenty-first century. Presented through the lens of Tal Keinan’s unusual personal story, it a sobering analysis of the threat to Jewish continuity. As the Jewish people has become concentrated in just two hubs—America and Israel—it has lost the subtle code of governance that endowed Judaism with dynamism and relevance in the age of Diaspora.

  • Episode 141: Thanks A Thousand: A Gratitude Journey, with A.J. Jacobs

    December 18th, 2018  |  50 mins 5 secs

    My guest is A.J. Jacobs. The idea for his newest book was simple: this New York Times bestselling author decided to thank every single person involved in producing his morning cup of coffee. The resulting journey takes him across the globe, transforms his life, and reveals secrets about how gratitude can make us all happier, more generous, and more connected.

  • Episode 140: Justification, with Michael Horton

    December 17th, 2018  |  56 mins 46 secs

    My guest is Michael Horton. His newest book "Justification" is a comprehensive study of the historic Christian doctrine. The doctrine of justification stands at the center of Christian theological reflection on the meaning of salvation as well as our piety, mission, and life together. In his two-volume work on the doctrine of justification, Michael Horton seeks not simply to repeat noble doctrinal formulas and traditional proof texts, but to encounter the remarkable biblical justification texts in conversation with the provocative proposals that, despite a wide range of differences, have reignited the contemporary debates around justification.

  • Episode 139: A River Could Be a Tree, with Angela Himsel

    December 12th, 2018  |  56 mins 1 sec

    My guest is Angela Himsel. Her new book is a memoir entitled "A River Could Be a Tree." From the time she was a young girl, Himsel believed that the Bible was the guidebook to being saved, and only strict adherence to the church's tenets could allow her to escape a certain, gruesome death, receive the Holy Spirit, and live forever in the Kingdom of God. With self-preservation in mind, she decided, at nineteen, to study at The Hebrew University in Jerusalem. But instead of strengthening her faith, Himsel was introduced to a whole new world—one with different people and perspectives.