Our congregation belongs to the Reformed Presbyterian Church of North America (RPCNA). In the Presbyterian Church, regional bodies called “presbyteries” exist not only to examine and ordain ministers, but also to give expression to fellowship among the churches within that region. Our presbytery is a rather large one geographically, stretching from Michigan to Florida.
For several decades, Great Lakes-Gulf Presbytery has conducted a family conference, called COVFAMIKOI, which is hosted on the campus of Asbury College in Kentucky. This year, the conference was from June 15^th to 19^th , and featured Anthony Selvaggio speaking on the biblical Proverbs.
Pastor Selvaggio hails from Rochester, New York. Among his published works are books on marriage, the Minor Prophets, the book of James, and Proverbs. Besides being a minister, he is also an attorney who is employed in the wealth management field. He brought all of those interests to his addresses.
On Tuesday, in an overview of the book of Proverbs, he delineated five points: (1) Jesus is a man of wisdom; (2) Jesus is wisdom, in His very being, in that He is God; (3) Jesus is the way of wisdom: we can walk in the way of wisdom or the way of folly; (4) Jesus is the giver of wisdom, who dispenses it to His people; (5) Jesus reminds us that wisdom is not enough—we need something more, viz., salvation through His blood. The speaker averred: “God gives the framework for our thinking, but He will not do our thinking for us.” He distinguished between the law and wisdom literature, as he noted, “The Proverbs are the Ten Commandments in shoe leather.”
On Wednesday, his topic was “Proverbs & the Financial Crisis.” He gave six principles: (1) a fool returns to his folly (there’s a cyclicality to human nature—it’s part of human nature to drive up prices); (2) pride goes before a fall—and pride wiped out the top investment banks in their thinking that they could eliminate risk; (3) financial haste makes waste; (4) don’t pretend to be rich (“Only when the tide goes out do you discover who’s been swimming without a suit”—Warren Buffett); (5) wealth is of limited value (or even worthless); (6) it’s not what you own that counts—it’s what owns you. He offered the Anthony Selvaggio guide to certain wealth: work hard and save.
On Thursday, he addressed the use of technology in our culture. He warned against three symptoms of technopoly, viz., disengagement (loss of community), distraction (amusing ourselves to death), and disembodiment (being led into a virtual world which divides mind from body). That evening, he proclaimed Jesus as the answer to the riddles of life, and urged that it is “our duty and calling to tell the world” about Him. The final seminar, on Friday, encouraged us to cultivate genuine friendship with others and to be friends indeed to others.
As I was sitting there listening to these presentations, and then the discussions, I found myself wishing that Neil Cavuto or other “talking heads” could have been there in order to benefit from the caliber of teaching. Those interested in ordering CDs of any or all of these talks may contact the Conference Manager, Shane Shoop, at email@example.com.