Millennial Christians: Just Following the Trends?

Today's young evangelical Christians, or "millennial" evangelicals, are too influenced by the culture and do not practice deep thinking, or a "life of the mind," several young evangelical leaders argued at a Monday panel hosted by The Institute on Religion & Democracy.

Millennial evangelicals are too influenced by "Oprah-doxy" rather than orthodoxy, Eric Teetsel, director of The Manhattan Declaration, complained.

"Orthodoxy," Teetsel said, "requires the cultivation of what my professors at Wheaton called the 'life of the mind.' When considering an issue, orthodoxy lays out first principles and are non-negotiable truths, with the Bible as a touchstone, creating a framework through which the merits of ideas can be considered and their consequences evaluated.

"Oprah-doxy, on the other hand, allows us to respond to issues without the hard, time-consuming work of thoughtful consideration. There are no immutable principles. Instead, we start with a base set of emotions, positive and negative. Love, justice, inclusion, authenticity and equality – these are good. Judgment, rigidity, stratification – these are bad. People and ideas are judged accordingly."