To Komrad and to others I have put forward Romans 10:1-7 to say that a righteousness which is based on faith does NOT ask this question of what have I got to do to be saved, or equivalently how to judge who has done what it takes and who hasn't. To ask what you have to do in order to be saved is to look upon salvation as if it were wages for work done and that is opposed to the teaching of Jesus and Paul.
I reject a typical modern christian distortion of this basic message that salvation by work and salvation by the law only refers to good deeds and obedience to commandments and not to words and beliefs. I think this circumvention amounts to a rejection of Romans 10:1-7 to claim that they can tell you what you have to do to get to heaven and that they can judge who goes to heaven and who goes to hell. The result is that they remake christianity into a new legalistic religion which can put themselves back in control -- simply make the works by which you can earn your way into heaven a matter of words and belief. Not only is this saved by words and belief a new form of Gnosticism, but it is clearly a legalistic religion that is far worse Pharisaical Judaism ever was. Is it any surprise that atheists look on it with horror? To the people of this new legalistic religion, it does not matter whether you are good person or how you love and serve others, it only matters what you say and what you believe -- all that matters to them is that you surrender your mind to the dominion of their ideology. This is so obviously a creation of men as a tool of power and manipulation, it is no wonder that so many end up concluding that this is all that "God" is too.
Consider what happened when someone asked Jesus this question of what does it take:
Luke 18:18-22 wrote:A certain ruler asked him, "Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?" "Why do you call me good?" Jesus answered. "No one is good—except God alone. You know the commandments: 'Do not commit adultery, do not murder, do not steal, do not give false testimony, honor your father and mother.' All these I have kept since I was a boy," he said. When Jesus heard this, he said to him, "You still lack one thing. Sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me."
Many a monastic group has been inspired by this. But if you think that this means that salvation is only for monks and priests then I think you have misunderstood completely. I think the point is that there is no "enough". If you approach christianity with this attitude of seeking what work will earn your way into heaven then you do not understand, .....but.... if you insist on asking what does it take then you should be told how much more you can do, because that way perhaps in this effort to earn your way into heaven you will eventually come to a crisis where you will have to choose between a righteousness which is based on faith and turning away like the ruler in the passage above.
So what is this righteousness which is based on faith? It means doing the best that you can, not because it is good enough or because it will earn you anything but because you want to. Now I am not all that sure that it matters whether you are the atheist who says he does these things because they are worth it for their own sake, or you are the Christian says that he does these things because he loves God and so you seek to share in the work of God to comfort and serve those who are in need. To me these sound like different ways of saying EXACTLY the same thing. I think the whole point is to change your heart and to want to do what is good.