John Chester

About John Chester

John serves the saints of Piedmont Bible Church, a Grace Advance church plant in Haymarket Virginia, as their shepherd, a position he has held since 2012 and hopes to serve in the rest of his life. Prior to being called to ministry John worked as a lacrosse coach, a pizza maker, a writer, a marketing executive, and just about everything in between. John is a graduate of The Master’s Seminary and The Grace Advance Academy. He hails from The City of Champions, Pittsburgh Pennsylvania, and is unbelievably blessed to be married to his wife Cassandra.

An Open Letter To Online Polemics Fans

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I get the attraction to polemics, I really do.  In fact, I am a huge fan of polemics done well; I love God and love the truth about Him and I hate when errors about Him and how He works are propagated.  I am immensely thankful for polemical works like Matt Waymeyer’s Amillennialism and the Age To Come.

The reason why I mention Dr. Waymeyer’s work is because in many ways it is archetypal of what polemics should be.  It is thoughtful in the way it seeks to accurately understand and portray the position it is critiquing.  It is focused on theological ideas not on persons or individual local churches. … Continue reading

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Reprise: Still Be Discerning about Discernment Ministries

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inspector_pp“Although originally written two years ago, I believe this is still a topic that needs some serious thought. In fact, many of my concerns about many of these ministries have been magnified as some prominent ones have degenerated into de facto internet  gossip columns and platforms to pursue personal grudges against pastors,theologians and churches.”

One of the great things about being a 21st century believer is the dazzling array of resources that are literally at our fingertips. The internet, yes I said internet, can be a boon to the believer. Virtually every sermon in every church, at least in the western evangelical world, is recorded and available for free download.… Continue reading

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Why Our Church Isn’t Charismatic

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Last Sunday a new attender of our church approached me and asked me about the charismatic gifts, and if they exist. I of course answered. And I believe unequivocally that the gifts have ceased. That said I am not a committed partisan warrior in this discussion, and I wholeheartedly believe that anyone’s position of the gifts is not the litmus test of orthodoxy (but let me be clear, I’m not saying it is unimportant either). What follows while not a recreation of the conversation, follows the contours of that discussion. I offer it in a generous spirit and for the edification of the church.… Continue reading

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The Mission Field All Around Us

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Missions is something that happens overseas. That’s why missionaries need to be sent, missionaries need to be supported, and short term mission trips are taken. That is the common wisdom anyway.  Let me be clear, I wholeheartedly agree that missionaries need to be supported and that overseas missions are vitally important. But I think too often we focus on overseas missions and neglect the mission field all around us.

I am not talking about simple evangelism of our neighbors (which we absolutely must do), rather I am talking about reaching out to the non-American people groups that surround us. When I think of missions, I start my thinking with the great commission as recorded in Matthew 28:18-20.… Continue reading

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You Need A Philosophy Of Missions

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How we approach church matters, and by church, I mean local church ministry. The church is the pillar of truth (1 Timothy 3:15) and the body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12:27) and it is not to be taken lightly. Or to put it another way it must not be approached in a willy-nilly manner; we need to think through how we do things and why we do them that way.  In other words, we need to have a philosophy of ministry. A good philosophy of ministry is really a philosophy of ministries, plural.  It is simply not enough to say we do everything for the glory of God (although certainly that should be our driving purpose), we need philosophies that govern our use of the pulpit, how we bring new members into the body, how we use music in worship, how we reach out to our community with the gospel etc.… Continue reading

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