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 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.

  • Episode 212: Corona and The Congressional Dish, with Jennifer Briney.

    May 9th, 2020  |  1 hr 9 mins

    My guest is Jennifer Briney. She's the host of the wildly popular Congressional Dish podcast which offers granular and entertaining coverage of the U.S. Congress.

  • Episode 211: Stan Lee: A Life in Comics, with Liel Leibovitz

    May 7th, 2020  |  1 hr 25 mins

    My guest is Liel Leibovitz. He's a Senior Writer at Tablet Magazine and a co-host of the wildly popular podcast Unorthodox. His newest book is Stan Lee: A Life in Comics.

  • Episode 210: This Is All I Got: A New Mother's Search for Home, with Lauren Sandler

    May 4th, 2020  |  1 hr 11 mins

    My guest is Lauren Sandler. Her newest book is "This Is All I Got: A New Mother's Search for Home." More than forty-five million Americans attempt to survive under the poverty line, day by day. Nearly 60,000 people sleep in New York City-run shelters every night—forty percent of them children. This Is All I Got makes this issue deeply personal, vividly depicting one woman's hope and despair and her steadfast determination to improve her situation, despite the myriad setbacks she encounters.

  • Episode 209: Pandemics Old and New, with Edward J. Watts

    May 3rd, 2020  |  1 hr 13 mins

    My guest is Edward J. Watts. He holds the Alkiviadis Vassiliadis endowed Chair and is professor of history at the University of California, San Diego. The author and editor of several prize-winning books, including "The Final Pagan Generation" and "Mortal Republic", he lives in Carlsbad, California.

  • Episode 208: Commentary and Corona, with Noah Rothman

    April 30th, 2020  |  1 hr 3 mins

    My guest is Noah Rothman. He is the Associate Editor of Commentary and the author of Unjust: Social Justice and the Unmaking of America.

  • 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.

  • Episode 206: Power in Modernity, with Isaac Ariail Reed

    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.

  • Episode 205: Conservatism and Corona, with David French

    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.

  • Episode 204: Spirituality and Purpose in the midst of Corona, with Rabbi Daniel Cohen

    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.

  • Episode 203: Saving Free Speech...from Itself, with Thane Rosenbaum

    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.

  • Episode 202: The Pleasure Gap, with Katherine Rowland

    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.

  • Episode 201: Trains, Jesus, and Murder: The Gospel according to Johnny Cash, with Richard Beck

    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.

  • Episode 200: The Unspoken, with Bob Holman

    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.

  • Episode 198: Modern Technology and the Human Future, with Craig Gay

    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.