- According to Christian teachings, the normal collective state of humanity is one of "original sin." Sin is a word that has been greatly misunderstood and misinterpreted. Literally translated from the ancient Greek in which the New Testament was written, to sin means to miss the mark, as an archer who misses the target, so to sin means to miss the point of human existence. It means to live unskillfully, blindly, and thus to suffer and cause suffering. Again, the term, stripped of its cultural baggage and misinterpretations, points to the dysfunction inherent in the human condition. -pg. 9
Mr. Tolle here again demonstrates that he is the master of the half-truth. Sin does literally mean to miss the mark. However, it does not mean to "miss the point of human existence." It means to miss the mark of God's righteousness. God is perfect and holy. We are not. Therefore, as Romans 3:23 states, we all "fall short of the glory of God". This is another example of Tolle making faith me-centered instead of God-centered. But sin goes beyond morality, it's really about abusing our relationship with God. The very best definition of sin I've ever heard is found in the Evangelical Dictionary of Theology (edited by Walter A. Elwell). It goes like this:
"The meaning of sin is quite different in a religion based on the gospel from one based on law. Sin, in an evangelical perspective, is not so much the infringement of a moral code as the breaking of a covenental relationship. Sin is not an offense so much against law as against love. In legalistic religion, sin is the violation of a moral taboo. In evangelical religion, sin is wounding the very heart of God. The opposite of sin is not virtue, but faith."