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.

Give and Take on social media


  • Episode 108: Vanishing Frontiers: The Forces Driving Mexico and the United States Together, with Andrew Selee

    June 22nd, 2018  |  47 mins 47 secs

    My guest is Andrew Selee. In his new book, "Vanishing Frontiers: The Forces Driving Mexico and the United States Together", he argues that there may be no story today with a wider gap between fact and fiction than the relationship between the United States and Mexico. Wall or no wall, deeply intertwined social, economic, business, cultural, and personal relationships mean the US-Mexico border is more like a seam than a barrier, weaving together two economies and cultures.

  • Episode 107: Vodka Is Vegan: A Vegan Bros Manifesto for Better Living and Not Being an A**hole, with Matt & Phil Letten

    June 5th, 2018  |  52 mins 18 secs

    My guests are Matt & Phil Letten. Think you could never go vegan? They beg to differ. As this smart, funny and persuasive manifesto makes clear, you're already 90% vegan anyway. That's right--you already love animals and are slowly but surely eating less meat than you used to. With the insider tips and inspiring stories in this book, you'll be ready to go whole hog (see what they did there?) and eat vegan for good.

  • Off the Clock: Feel Less Busy While Getting More Done, with Laura Vanderkam

    May 30th, 2018  |  40 mins 59 secs

    My guest is Laura Vanderkam. She is the the acclaimed author of "What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast." She isn’t like other time-management gurus. She’s not trying to shave off 30 seconds here or there; she’s interested in the emotional and psychological side of the 168 hours everyone has each week. Her newest book is "Off the Clock: Feel Less Busy While Getting More Done." Her core message is that you have more time than you think you do, and you can feel less stressed while getting more done.

  • Episode 105: Gravity Leadership, with Matt Tebbe

    May 24th, 2018  |  47 mins 52 secs

    My guest is Matt Tebbe. He co-founded Gravity Leadership, and is planting a church, The Table Indy, in the northeast suburbs of Indianapolis. He also co-hosts the Gravity Leadership podcast.

  • Episode 104: My Jesus Year: A Rabbi's Son Wanders the Bible Belt in Search of His Own Faith, with Benyamin Cohen

    May 23rd, 2018  |  1 hr 14 mins

    My guest is Benyamin Cohen. His book "My Jesus Year: A Rabbi's Son Wanders the Bible Belt in Search of His Own Faith" is part memoir, part spiritual quest, part anthropologist’s mission. It's a humorous, personal, ultimately inspirational exploration of Christianity by the son of an Orthodox Rabbi on his journey through America's Bible belt.

  • Episode 103: Everything Is Borrowed, with Nathaniel Popkin

    May 18th, 2018  |  58 mins 27 secs

    Nathaniel Popkin is a writer, editor, historian, journalist, and the author of five books, including his most recent novel "Everything is Borrowed." A meditation on cruelty and regret, a mesmerizing tour of a city through time, and an evocative portrait of radical Jewish life of another age.

  • Episode 102: To Lose the Madness: Field Notes on Trauma, Loss and Radical Authenticity, with L.M. Browning

    May 5th, 2018  |  41 mins 38 secs

    My guest is L.M. Browning. In her career-defining work, "To Lose the Madness: Field Notes on Trauma, Loss and Radical Authenticity", Browning explores the breaking point every mind has after finding her own limit during a gauntlet of traumatic events.

  • Episode 101: Christian Hospitality and Muslim Immigration in an Age of Fear, with Matthew Kaemingk

    May 4th, 2018  |  47 mins 30 secs

    My guest is Matthew Kaemingk. His most recent book is "Christian Hospitality and Muslim Immigration in an Age of Fear." In it he offers a thought-provoking Christian perspective on the growing debates over Muslim presence in the West. Rejecting both fearful nationalism and romantic multiculturalism, Kaemingk makes the case for a third way—a Christian pluralism that is committed to both the historic Christian faith and the public rights, dignity, and freedom of Islam.

  • Episode 100: Troll Nation, with Amanda Marcotte

    April 20th, 2018  |  1 hr 1 min

    The election of Donald Trump in 2016, like most of his campaign, came as a shock to many Americans. In "Troll Nation" Amanda Marcotte argues that Trump's election was the inevitable result of American conservatism’s degradation into an ideology of blind resentment.

  • Episode 99: The Path Between Us: An Enneagram Journey To Healthy Relationships, with Suzanne Stabile

    April 19th, 2018  |  51 mins 41 secs

    My guest is Suzanne Stabile. Her newest book is "The Path Between Us: An Enneagram Journey To Healthy Relationships." This book on the nine Enneagram types and how they behave and experience relationships will guide readers into deeper insights about themselves, their types, and others' personalities so that they can have healthier, more life-giving relationships.

  • Episode 98: Portrait of an Unreasonable Man, with Michèle Gerber Klein

    April 17th, 2018  |  45 mins 6 secs

    My guest is Michèle Gerber Klein. Michèle is a philanthropist, collector and author whose topics are fame, fashion and art. Her first book is Charles James: Portrait of An Unreasonable Man, a biography of the iconic and controversial designer Charles James, published by Rizzoli ex Libris.

  • Episode 97: Sexy: The Quest for Erotic Virtue in Perplexing Times, with Jeff Mallinson

    April 8th, 2018  |  1 hr 56 secs

    My guest is Jeff Mallinson. Jeff is Associate Professor of Theology and Philosophy at Concordia University, Irvine, a 1517 Thinking Fellow, and Co-Host of the Virtue in the Wasteland podcast. His newest book is "Sexy: The Quest for Erotic Virtue in Perplexing Times." In it he asks what would happen if we reframed contemporary conversations about sexuality altogether? Instead of focusing on taboos, boundaries, and rules of sexual engagement, what if we let holy desire seduce people back to erotic virtue?

  • Episode 96: Martin Luther's Theology of Beauty, with Mark C. Mattes

    April 7th, 2018  |  46 mins 12 secs

    Mark C. Mattes (PhD, University of Chicago) is professor of philosophy and religion at Grand View University in Des Moines, Iowa. His newest book is "Martin Luther's Theology of Beauty: A Reappraisal." Many contemporary theologians seek to retrieve the concept of beauty as a way for people to encounter God. In this volume, one of today's leading Lutheran theologians argues that while Martin Luther's view of beauty has often been ignored or underappreciated, it has much to contribute to that quest.

  • Episode 95: The Very Worst Missionary, with Jamie Wright

    April 6th, 2018  |  52 mins 30 secs

    My guest is Jamie Wright. After finding her faith at a suburban megachurch, Jamie trades in the easy life on the cul-de-sac for the green fields of Costa Rica. There, along with her family, she earnestly hopes to serve God and change lives. But faced with a yawning culture gap and persistent shortcomings in herself and her fellow workers, she soon loses confidence in the missionary enterprise and falls into a funk of cynicism and despair.

  • Episode 94: My Old Faithful, with Yang Huang

    March 30th, 2018  |  48 mins 50 secs

    My guest is Yang Huang. Her debut novel "Living Treasures" won the Nautilus Book Award silver medal in fiction. Her newest book is "My Old Faithful." Evoking both the drama of familial intimacy and the ups and downs of the everyday, "My Old Faithful" introduces readers to a close-knit Chinese family. These ten interconnected short stories, which take place in China and the United States over a thirty-year period, merge to paint a nuanced portrait of family life, full of pain, surprises, and subtle acts of courage. Richly textured narratives from the mother, the father, the son, and the daughters play out against the backdrop of China's social and economic change.

  • Episode 93: Unafraid, with Adam Hamilton

    March 30th, 2018  |  45 mins 20 secs

    My guest is Adam Hamilton. Adam is the senior pastor of The United Methodist Church of the Resurrection in Leawood, Kansas, one of the fastest growing, most highly visible churches in the country. His newest book is "Unafraid: Living with Courage and Hope in Uncertain Times." It's a book for persons and communities desiring find hope and serenity in an anxious age.