Ron Shanks and I have talked about the requirements of salvation in our on-going discussion. What I meant when I said we hadn't discussed Salvation is that I haven't told him yet that I don't believe there is a heaven or a need for salvation (Feel free to check the chart; it isn't in there).
I know from my handy chart that Ron's faith in the Bible (hmm, perhaps faith is the wrong word here?) means that he has no choice but to believe that there is a heaven and a hell. It also means that he believes that God created the earth in 6 (presumably standard) days, that humans were co-existent with dinosaurs, that the age of the universe is under 10,000 years and other interesting tidbits.
But lest we get sidetracked, we were talking about Heaven or more succinctly, Salvation. I am more of a scientist than a theologian. I understand the principles of carbon dating, asteroid impacts, fossilization, speed of light, plate tectonics, rocketry, and a host of other scientific disciplines that call into question the infallible "truths" of the Bible. If there is a heaven out there, beyond the clouds, why hasn't the space shuttle discovered it? Behind the moon? Beyond the furthest unmanned probe? Is it in some other Galaxy? Probably not. Some other Godly dimension? Possibly.
I can't prove there is no heaven. But nobody can prove there is one either. I know, Ron, you will say, "Do you want to spend eternity in hell wishing you had seen that your pride was blinding you to the Truth". Ultimately, that is my choice (at least we agree on that, no matter how much it grieves him).
Then again, I never thought I would join a Christian church and read the Bible.
Look Ma, no hands!
Ron, here is the hard question: What is it that gives you faith that you will rise to Heaven (bodily or just your 'soul') when the final judgment comes? (And don't say the Bible, `cause that just redirects the question) I am talking about your own personal experience.
I simply refuse to make that faith leap with only fear of death pushing me. <--- serious here Ron. Or the threat of eternal damnation. Or any other fear tactic. If it is simply a choice between reward and punishment, it is a no-brainer to pick the reward, but it doesn't help me with faith. Am I being clear here?
Discalmer: Ron and I both have a habit of being flippant without warning. This has got to stop. But it won't, so don't hold your breath, dear reader.