The unthought will say, “It’s all about faith. You can’t work your way to heaven. You can’t do anything to be saved, but you can be saved if you believe. All we need to do is believe!”
All we need to do? There’s nothing we can do to gain salvation, including believe. Grace is a gift. Faith is not epistemic belief but “pistis”: persuation, a draw to God — “God” being synonymous with “the good”. Faith is a gift. Grace is too and for all man, is God’s active presence in the world. Because of our likeness to God, faith is a consequence in all mankind in the presence of God’s grace; like the resonance of tunning forks, we are drawn to the good.
To participate in the good is to be transformed by the experience, to find atonement there, the result being salvation; God’s intent (logos) for man from the beginning being for us to be as Christ was in the world (hodos), revealing and discovering the truth (alethea) of our full nature, and this is life (zoe).
No belief nor work puts God in debt to any man, thinking “God must if I just.”
There’s a way to be in the world. We’re all drawn to it. “Being there”, being that way in the world, is the aim of Christ. There are no other beliefs about Christ which matter; they have no bearing on “getting you there”; not virgin births, not Jesus’ divinity, not resurrection, not Trinities nor anything else. These ideas bring no one closer to the experience of the good than not having them at all. And while we can reflect on these things and relate them to beliefs about the world we can actually act on, in themselves they are not proper beliefs at all if beliefs are defined as synonymous with action and attitudes toward action, which epistemologists assure us belief is.
We don’t know how God or Jesus make things right; hence the overabundance of theories of atonement, soteriology, eschatology, christology. What we have is the assurance from scripture that all of that is their business, and we have promises like that if we own our faults, they’ll be forgiven. We have in Christianity only a hopefulness about these beliefs, because of them. But inasmuch as they are efficacious for anything else such as atonement or salvation, they are not. As for being like Christ in the world, God is light and anyone can reflect it regardless of whatever else they may believe, or disbelieve. That is atonement and in the experience of it, salvation.
Just a thought.