Jack Burch was born in Miami Florida in 1926. After high school he joined the U.S. Merchant Marine in 1944, serving in the Atlantic and Mediterranean during the latter part of W.W. II. He received a B.S. degree in Marine Engineering from the U.S. Merchant Academy, a B.A. degree in speech communications from David Lipscomb College, Nashville, Tennessee, and an M.A. degree in New Testament from Abilene Christian College. In addition, he has done special graduate work at Southern California School of Theology at Claremont and Fuller Theological Seminary. From 1969 - 1979 he was part of the adjunct faculty in religion at Pepperdine University, Malibu, California. He has also taught in Nigeria, Vienna, Austria, and South Korea.
One of Jack's areas of special interest is the Greek text of the New Testament. He did research for his Master's Thesis at the International Greek New Testament Project based at Emory University and was the first person to use a computer in comparing variant readings in the Greek manuscripts of the New Testament.
Jack's primary interest has always been congregational ministry. He began preaching in 1948 and is presently the pulpit minister for the Burbank Church of Christ. He has also served churches of Christ in Glendale and Palm Desert, California, Louisiana, Georgia, Texas, and Florida. Jack returns to Seoul, South Korea each year to teach in a ministerial training school for churches of Christ in that country.
Sun, Oct 18, 2015
“Woman, You Have Great Faith”
Faith must be persistent. Faith must be insistent. Faith must be enduring.
Jesus encountered a Canaanite woman whose daughter was suffering terribly. The story is strange in that Jesus rebuffed her at first but saw the demonstration of great faith – a faith which he had not seen among many of his own countrymen.
Our faith is sometime put to the test. What would I have done if I had been in the Oregon college classroom when a gunman was killing those who professed Christianity? Would I confess Christ when ISS followers are holding a gun to my head? At time we bravely say, “I would be willing to die for my faith in Christ.” The rub comes in when we are challenged, not to die for Him but to live for Him.
Sun, Oct 04, 2015
In the world of electrical engineering a transformer can convert the voltage in an electric line from a few volts (as used in a home) to thousands of volts (as used to send electricity across hundreds of miles). Paul shows us that God has a way of transforming our “low voltage lives” from a weak and faltering existence into “high voltage lives” which are dynamic, secure, and joyful.
How does he do it? He does it through his profound and dynamic compassion interacting with our own sacrificial lives. This transformation involves the “renewing of our minds.”
Sun, Oct 04, 2015
Some believe them and some do not. Some claim the same power today but they can never raise the dead, give sight to the blind, or walk on water. Some believe in the power of shrines to bring healing while others say “faith healing” is the only way.
During the four Sunday evenings in October we will look at some of the miracles of Christ and make a couple of comparisons with contemporary claims. Our first lesson will deal with the Biblical topic of Christ’s miracles in general and examine some of the characteristics of those supernatural events.
Sun, Sep 20, 2015
“Never Never, Never Give In”
On October 29, 1941, during World War II, Winston Churchill delivered a speech at the High School he had attended as a boy. In this famous oration Churchill said, “Never give in, never give in, never, never, never – in nothing, great or small, large or petty – never give in except to convictions of honour and good sense. Never yield to force; never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy.”
In the Christian life – the life of the church – this principle should take front and center. The churches in Sardis and Pergamum had problems and difficulties beyond our imagination. Christ said something to them which Churchill seems to have embraced: “Never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy.” Satan, our enemy constantly challenges us. Sunday morning we will look at Christ’s message to the churches in Sardis and Pergamum.
“Faith, Perseverance, and Survival”
Sun, Sep 13, 2015
We Can Repair Christ’s Broken Heart
The pain of losing a loved one – a family member, a close friend – in death is a heartbreaking experience. Christ’s letter to the church at Ephesus expresses the Lord’s pain when that church “left its first love.” Early on, it was such a vibrant church, standing firmly for truth. One of Paul’s greatest letters, the book of Ephesians, described Christ’s profound relationship to his church referring to the church as the “body of Christ” with the Lord himself as the “head of that body.” How tragic for the church at Ephesus to “leave its first love.” In Christ’s letter to the church at Thyatira he said that they had allowed false teachings about morality to creep into its ranks. But they (and we) can repair the tragedy of Christ’s broken heart!
Sun, Sep 13, 2015
Treasures, Pearls, and the Power of Faith
When we look at a fine pearl or view a treasure chest full of gold, their value to us finally comes down to a personal preference and a personal decision. To buy the pearl or to acquire the treasure means we will have to perform – we have to be willing to give up everything and pay the price of those valuable items!
How valuable is the “pearl of great price – the kingdom?” How valuable is the “treasure hidden in the field – the kingdom?” Jesus said the pearl merchant “sold all that he had” and bought that valuable pearl. He really believed that the pearl was worth more than all of his possessions.
Sun, Sep 06, 2015
Good Churches Have Their Struggles
Struggles can strengthen us or weaken us. Christ wrote letters to seven churches in Asia (Revelation 2-3) in which he described the situation of each one. Two of them received high marks for their fidelity – no corrections at all – even though they were undergoing severe struggles and frustrations. They were told, “Hold to what you have” and “Do not be afraid of what you are about to suffer.” Great lessons from Christ to faithful churches!
Sun, Aug 30, 2015
I Will Give You Rest.
Throughout the centuries past, many ships have become the victims of stormy seas. The power of a turbulent ocean is beyond our meager efforts to measure. And, life is like that. When the burdens and the heavy weight of problems, disappointments, sadness, and loss come our way they seem, at times, to be beyond our poor power to overcome.
Jesus makes an offer to us: “Come unto me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn of me for I am gentle and humble in heart. and you shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
“Rest for the Weary”
Sun, Aug 30, 2015
Human Needs Have a Claim on Us
What do we do when there are conflicting Biblical responsibilities? We are commanded to worship but we are also commanded to care for the sick. How do human needs figure into God’s commandments?
On the Sabbath Day Jesus’ disciples plucked grains of wheat to eat. The Pharisees condemned them for “violating the Sabbath.” However, Jesus addressed the attitude of the Pharisees by saying they did not understand the principle behind an Old Testament statement, “I desire mercy not sacrifice.” Exactly what does this statement teach? Did Jesus approve of the violations of the Sabbath? Has God given us a strict set of laws which ignore human needs?
“God’s Commandments and Human Needs”