Overrated: Are We More in Love With the Idea of Changing the World Than Actually Changing the World?  -     By: Eugene Cho
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Overrated: Are We More in Love With the Idea of Changing the World Than Actually Changing the World?

David C. Cook / 2014 / Paperback

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As "justice-minded" Christians, are we changing the earth in Christ's name---or just talking about it? In this soul-searching work, Cho shares his own spiritual journey. Confessing that as a pastor he's been "more in love with ideas than action," he chronicles the messy process of counting the cost and becoming a true world-changer. 240 pages, softcover from Cook.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 240
Vendor: David C. Cook
Publication Date: 2014
Dimensions: 8.25 X 5.50 (inches)
ISBN: 0781411122
ISBN-13: 9780781411127

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Publisher's Description

Many people today talk about justice but are they living justly? They want to change the world but are they being changed themselves?

Eugene Cho has a confession: "I like to talk about changing the world but I don't really like to do what it takes." If this is true of the man who founded the One Day's Wages global antipoverty movement, then what must it take to act on one's ideals? Cho does not doubt the sincerity of those who want to change the world. But he fears that today's wealth of resources and opportunities could be creating "the most overrated generation in history. We have access to so much but end up doing so little."

He came to see that he, too, was overrated. As Christians, Cho writes, "our calling is not simply to change the world but to be changed ourselves." In Overrated, Cho shows that it is possible to move from talk to action.

Author Bio

Eugene Cho is the founder of One Day's Wages, a movement working to alleviate extreme global poverty. He is the founder and senior pastor of Quest Church, an urban, multicultural and multigenerational church in Seattle, Washington, where he lives with his family. Cho has been covered in various media including NPR, New York Times, and Seattle Times.

Editorial Reviews

"I encourage all believers to read Overrated. It lays a course for how we much proceed as humble but faithful justice leaders in an unjust world."

"It can be fashionable to talk about the poor but not as fashionable to talk to the poor. It may be popular to talk about injustice and still not know any victims of injustice. But we will never make poverty history until we make poverty personal. Eugene Cho shatters all our hipster coffee-shop talk of justice and dares you to dive into the trenches and do something real with your life. Talking about changing the world has never changed the world any more than talking about CPR has ever saved anyone's life. Eugene reminds us that the revolution has to be lived."

"I intended to scan Overrated and write a quick endorsement because I like Eugene. But I couldn't help myself. I read every word and pondered what I read. Eugene's questions became mine: I love justice, but do I actually live justly? Amy I committed and disciplined enough to become an expert about causes and issues I care about? Is my activism smart? Is it grounded in prayerfulness? Do I incarnate the gospel in such a way that I compel people toward Christ? Overrated challenged and chastised me, inspired and energized me. I highly recommend it."

"When you're done talking about the gospel and are ready for your walking to be the gospel: Start here. I needed this book."

"A gutsy and gritty exposé on the motives of a generation in love with the idea of saving the world, Overrated is a necessary exercise for all who desire to truly be a part of the change God wants to bring to humanity. I love justice, and I seek compassion for all, but as Pastor Cho so vividly unfolds, I first must allow the transforming power of the gospel to invade my heart. This book is real, personal, necessary, and a must-read, so we can all continue on the path toward justice for all."

"At this moment in church history, the pursuit of God's justice has been restored to its rightful place of importance as a critical task of the church. However, this resurgence may have a price in the engagement of ministries of mercy as self-aggrandizing acts. In Overrated, Eugene Cho offers an honest and necessary confession on behalf of the church. Through powerful and enlightening stories, Eugene Cho offers a timely reminder of the cost of discipleship in the pursuit of God's work of justice."

"I am so grateful for Eugene Cho and his passion to show Jesus's love to a needy world in tangible, practical ways. His message is relevant and challenging. This book will inspire you to help establish authentic justice in society today."

"True justice begins in our own hearts. It is small and personal before it is world changing. We need to take Pastor Cho's message to heart."

"There are very few people I meet who are willing to live out their convictions with the sincerity, humility, commitment, and sacrifice that Eugene Cho has shown. This book challenges us all to bring dignity forth through our storytelling and remember that the work we do is not about us, and never has been."

"Eugene Cho asks—and answers—a question that everyone who seeks to live out their faith in public at some point asks: Am I more interested in the idea of changing the world than actually doing it? Overrated wrestles with this question with Eugene's signature humor and grace. I recommend it for anyone who wants to authentically live their faith in public—to actually do what we say we believe in."

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  1. 5 Stars Out Of 5
    Overrated: Are We More in Love With the Idea of Changing the World Than Actually Changing the World
    November 20, 2015
    Kathy
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    This was a little bit different than I expected, but very good. Thought provoking as well. We need to think about what we are doing and what we are supporting. He gives great examples, questions & insight into that process.
  2. Warren, Maine
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Justice 101
    October 29, 2015
    Michele Morin
    Warren, Maine
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    Big plans are great, and, without a doubt, The Great Commission is an invitation to develop a no-holds-barred, pull-out-the-stops strategy to change the world. History provides rich examples of those who did just that: Hudson Taylor, Amy Carmichael, Jim Elliot, Mary Slessor and many more whose names we will never hear. In Overrated, Eugene Cho asks himself piercing questions about his own ideas, dreams, and visions, and he invites those whom he numbers among the most overrated generation in history to come alongside him in his questioning. Could it be that his generation of game changers and history makers are really more in love with the idea of changing the world than actually changing the world?

    The son of immigrants, Eugene learned the value of hard work and tenacity at a young age. Called into ministry, it was natural for him to desire more than just a traditional church, so he set himself the task of launching a coffee shop as part of the churchs ministry. Overcoming obstacles (most notably of horrible coffee) led to success and the next step: a transition out of a secure position in a suburban church and into an urban church plant which, at first, did not materialize. Eugene was unemployed for months and then, eventually, under-employed as a janitor. With both humility and humor, Eugene shares his journey through questioning God in the dark about what He had revealed in the light.

    Ultimately, with the shattering of his comfortable pre-conceptions about God and ministry, Eugene realized that along with the challenge to change the world came the more vexing and humbling invitation to change himself. Drawn to make a difference for those living in poverty, he started One Days Wages (ODW), a grassroots movement that asks people to give up what they earned for just one days work about .4 percent of their annual salary thus, bringing together the very cool, glamorous, feel-good, and heroic notion of justice with the loaded truth that justice always comes at a cost.

    Overrated challenges 21st century Christians to open their Bibles and to find there the Jesus of downward mobility; to find a gospel-oriented understanding of our acts of righteousness which do not save us, but rather proclaim and bear witness to our faith; to absorb and be changed by truth that will deepen our faith and understanding of Gods call through first knowing the God who calls.

    A challenge to self-examination coupled with boots-on-the-ground input for doing justice and doing it justly, Overrated is a blessed reminder that our acts of service are directed toward the God who desires that His children do justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with Him, (Micah 6:8).

    This book was provided by David C. Cook in exchange for my review. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commissions 16 CFR, Part 255 : Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.
  3. Cullman, AL
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: female
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    Thought-provoking and challenging book
    September 30, 2014
    Cindy Navarro
    Cullman, AL
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: female
    Quality: 4
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 4
    Overrated by Eugene Cho asks if we are more in love with changing the world than we are in actually changing it. Many people want to change the world, but Eugene Cho found out that it takes more than a simple desire to change it. You need a plan of action, and you need to put thought into that plan. We live in a world where people think they have made a tremendous impact if they share something as a Facebook status or as their profile picture. And, we can't forget the power and promise of the #hashtag.

    Eugene Cho talks about first seeing what changes you need to make within yourself. There are many who choose short term mission trips, but not always for the right reason. Did you do it to make yourself feel better or out of love for others. Feel-goodism may make you feel good about yourself, but be sure that more was accomplished. Sometimes our acts do more harm than good. We want to give and make life easier for others who are under tremendous burdens, but showing someone how to find methods of helping themselves is more important. You also want to point people to a relationship with Jesus. As Cho pointed out, too many of us have a "Messiah complex" and think we are supposed to save others (rather than pointing them to the only One who can save them) instead of showing them a way to keep dignity intact.

    There was quite a bit in the book that I agreed with, especially in terms of many mission trips. I am in favor of them, and have seen lives impacted, but I have also seen too many instances of when the money could have been spent in a wiser way. Cho's views also resonated with thoughts I have had more and more about a food ministry I am involved with. We meet genuine needs, but we also set up a pattern of entitlement with some. Is helping others to break a cycle of poverty not showing the love of Jesus than simply letting people care only about a handout? I want to show my love for Jesus, and to love the people with whom I come in contact with. When they become merely numbers on a report, it is time for a heart check. Really good book that gives you some things to think about. Also, check out more of the work Eugene and others do at One Day's Wages.

    Disclosure (in accordance with the FTCs 16 CFR, Part 255: Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising): I received a copy of this book from Propeller Consulting, LLC in exchange for an honest review.
  4. 5 Stars Out Of 5
    Witty and Challenging Critique of much Justice Work Today.
    September 7, 2014
    Bruce Strom
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    Through vibrant stories, raw confession, and engaging humor, Eugene Cho challenges us to live a good story. Overrated cuts through the glamor of justice. More than a 140 character tweet, justice requires sacrifice and personal change. Eugenes personal example and direct style will motivate and inspire you to deeper justice work.

    Overrated is directed toward a younger audience that Eugene believes may be more enamored with the idea of changing the world than in actually changing the world. While the #generation is enamored with justice, this justice rarely comes at a cost. Eugene challenges this 140 character tweeting world to go deeper. Justice requires sacrifice, becoming an expert in an area, and not just telling a good story, but living a good story.

    Eugene shares his story of sacrificing a years wages to launch One Days Wages. He shares his struggles with starting Quest church, needing a job, and being turned down for work even by Taco Bell. Eugene combines a witty humor with raw reality. He challenges our view of justice it is not just a social good but a central and critical aspect of Gods character and the gospel. Social justice is of no value unless tied to the gospel. Social justice means loving your neighbor. To serve, advocate and care for a more just society.

    I certainly identify with Eugenes challenge. My own justice story is one of sacrifice, challenge, and long-term commitment to intervening in the legal issues impacting the widow, the fatherless, the alien and the poor (gospeljusticebook.com). These are the stories Eugene believes should be more prevalent among people of faith.

    Eugene argues we cannot credibly pursue Christ unless we are actively pursuing justice. At the same time he argues we cannot do justice without being personally made more just. We must shut up, listen and pray.

    Overrated is not a feel good book. Eugene challenges our storytelling that aggrandizes our efforts at the expense of those in need. He challenges mission work that often does more harm than good by not empowering local people to be involved in solving local problems. He challenges the church and our continued separation of the gospel and justice. In short, Eugene challenges all of us to examine our lives, go deeper, and live justly.

    Overrated ask us to allow the work of justice to change us. To live justly as we pursue justice. Much of the humor and examples will appeal to a younger audience and this is a great book to give someone in their 20s or 30s. However, it is valuable for anyone who is serious about their faith. As Eugene writes, If you truly believe the gospel of Jesus Christ, then you believe that the gospel matters not just for your personal salvation and blessing, but also for Gods pursuit of restoration, redemption, and reconciliation of the entire world. Allow this book to motivate you to a deeper pursuit of the gospel and justice.
  5. 5 Stars Out Of 5
    Am I Overrated?
    August 29, 2014
    Lori
    It seems like the "hip" thing to do these days is to talk about, post about, tweet about, Instagram about "justice" issues. Anything from feeding the poor to drilling water wells to taking the ALS "ice bucket challenge" and posting it on social media. It appears that we are a generation of people who love the idea of changing the world. However, as the book "Overrated" points out, research indicates that people who demonstrate support for causes and organizations on social media, such as Facebook, actually do less in real life. They are less likely to donate their money or volunteer their time (p. 31). The challenge presented in Euguene Cho's book "Overrated" comes through asking the question: are we more in love with the idea of changing the world than actually changing the world?

    This book was written by the author almost as a confessional of sorts. By weaving his own personal story throughout the book, Eugene Cho gives credibility to the questions and challenges he poses to his readers. He begins by telling the story of the beginning of his own non-profit organization "One Day's Wages" and the sacrifices his own family made in order to make their dream of changing lives a reality.

    In "Overrated," Cho makes it a priority to answer the question "Why?" Why do we do justice? He points out that in particular, followers of Jesus love justice...until there's a cost. He points out the foundational truth laid out in the Bible that God has a heart for justice, and that justice is His plan of redemption for a broken world (p. 37).

    One chapter of this book struck me in particular. The title of Chapter 7 is "Having More Depth Than 140 Characters: Be an Expert." In this age of social media and 6-second video clips, it's a challenge to go deep. In this section of the book, Cho avoids coming across as "preachy" because of his emphasis on the fact that this is truly a confession for him and something he needs to hear as much as anyone. If we are truly passionate about a cause, we need to seek to go deep, to know history, respect, and context for that issue.

    "Overrated" wraps up by exploring "The Best Part of Wanting to Change the World." Cho reminds those of us who are Christians that "worship isn't just ingestion of good news- worship and discipleship begins when we respond to the revelation of God. When we choose to live out our faith (p. 222)." He also encourages us to "fascinate" people toward the gospel and to be a part of reimagining a better story by living out what we believe.

    I found this book to be both challenging and encouraging. Doing justice is not an easy proposition. It requires hard work, an abundance of faith, commitment, and much tenacity. Yet doing justice is not an option for those who believe in Jesus...it's a requirement. Throughout this book I was constantly asking myself the question "how do I measure up?" And yet I never felt as though this book was all about doing. It is about being a follower of Christ, and a result of that faith manifests itself in being invested in justice issues. What do you care about? How would you like to see the world changed for the better? Get out there and go deeper, find out about that issue, don't ask others to do what you're not willing to do yourself.

    "Overrated" gives me hope that together, we can make a difference and change the world!

    *disclaimer: I received an advance copy of this book for review. I was not paid to endorse this book nor was I instructed to give a positive review in exchange for the advance copy of the book. All opinions are my own.
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