Tom Hanks, Chris Pratt, Kamala Harris, Cultural Marxism and a COVID vaccine

Eternity’s Top 5 ‘why? articles’ for 2020

Sometimes you just need an article that explains “the why”. No surprise, then, ‘why? articles’ each year are some of Eternity’s most-read and most-shared. Here’s your Top 5 for 2020.

5. Why Tom Hanks’ new movie will shock your soul

“Proceed with caution: I have never seen a film like A Beautiful Day in the Neighbourhood and it should have come with a warning.”

So writes Sam Buckerfield in his review of the film that had everyone talking last January, and saw actor Tom Hanks receive an Oscar nomination for his portrayal of beloved children’s TV host Fred Roger.

Buckerfield describes a film that “trades sugary nostalgia for the salt of introspection, inviting the audience to reflect not on their history with the TV show, but on their personhood”.

While A Beautiful Day in the Neighbourhood “takes an understated approach to Roger’s active Christian faith”, Buckerfield writes that it explores some deeply Christian themes including forgiveness, grace, vulnerability, compassion and hope. And, if you haven’t seen the movie yet, this review will leave you certain of what to do with the first rainy day of holidays this summer.

Tom Hanks and director Marielle Heller on the set of A Beautiful Day In the Neighbourhood. Sony Pictures

4. Why people talk of “Cultural Marxism”, when discussing Black Lives Matter

Why do discussions of “Black Lives Matter” on social media bring up the subject of  “Cultural Marxism”? Eternity Editor John Sandeman summarises the history behind one of the most contentious subjects in Christian conversation during 2020.

Sandeman’s history article begins with Karl Marx, and moves to the Frankfurt School of philosophers, before discussing several hot-button terms: Cultural Marxism; critical theory; intersectionality; and ‘liquid modernity’. Sandeman highlights the thoughts of pastors and thinkers from across the breadth of the church.

This is a must-read for all – from those who use the term, to those who critique it and right through to those who have found the whole conversation utterly baffling!

Black Lives Matter Melbourne demonstration

Black Lives Matter Melbourne June 2020 Kon Karampelas /Pexels

3. Why is Chris Pratt being cancelled by the internet?

How did a fun, online game of “Chris Wars” – between Chris Pratt, his Marvel Universe co-stars Chris Hemsworth and Chris Evans, and Star Trek’s Chris Pine – end up with Pratt being “cancelled”? Ben McEachen uncovers the anti-Pratt movement which saw the actor accused of supporting a right-wing president, and being anti-gay – despite having not really proclaimed such things.

2. Why some Christians adore Kamala Harris, and others see her as a reason to vote Trump

“The selection of Kamala Harris as running mate for Joe Biden, the Democratic Party presumptive nominee for President of the United States, will excite Christians – but in opposite directions” wrote John Sandeman in the lead up to the US election.

He went on to detail what is known about Harris’ Christian heritage and history on social issues which matter to Christians, explaining exactly why some Christians love the now Vice President Elect … and why some really just don’t!

Months later – with the US election over and the Biden Harris team in transition, this is an article that has continued to draw new readers. Apparently it is scratching the itch of google-searchers across the world!

Kamala Harris

1. Why are some Christians so worried about a COVID vaccine?

This article was written just one week after Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced he had signed a ‘Letter of Intent’ with pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca, securing doses for all Australians of a COVID vaccine being developed. If the vaccine became approved for use, doses would be distributed free. Then, three Australian Archbishops – Anthony Fisher, the Catholic Archbishop of Sydney, Glenn Davies of the Sydney Anglicans, and the Greek Orthodox Archbishop of Australia, Makarios Griniezakis – wrote a joint-letter to Mr Morrison asking him to seek alternative COVID vaccines.

Denise Cooper-Clarke – a graduate of medicine and theology, with a Ph.D in medical ethics – walked Eternity readers through the ethics of the vaccine in question, covering concerns about cell lines developed from aborted fetal cells and the related issue of the sanctity of life.

Image: Gerd Altman / Pixabay

Image: Gerd Altman Pixabay