Mike Cosper
Executive Director of Harbor Media

How can the church create a more conducive environment for serious artists, musicians, and writers?

The church should take its own aesthetics more seriously. Invest budget dollars into your music ministry and the aesthetics of the church. Celebrate those who serve. And guard the platform. By that I mean that we should have the same desire for excellence in music that we have for preaching.

What should seminary students do in order to become more conversant in the arts?

We can learn about the arts the same way we learn anything. We need to begin with a basic vocabulary – get to know the classics in whatever particular genre or medium you’re interested. Then understand the history of how that medium evolved up until now. Read good critics. A.O. Scott’s book Better Living Through Criticism is a great place to start. Think in the arts more than thinking about “art.” In doing so, you’ll learn how to think about creativity in a broad way, and you’ll be much more conversant about the arts in general. Don’t just read about the arts and beauty generally; study the artifacts themselves.

With the upcoming addition to the saga, what’s your favorite Star Wars movie?

The Empire Strikes Back. It’s the least predictable, the characters have far more at stake than in the others, and they develop in meaningful ways. It also has the most distinctive look and feel.