He gave me a weak argument in return: "God can't be in the presence of imperfection, because his standard and he in turn, IS perfect. therefore there must be bloodshed. This is how sacrifice worked out in the OT and how Christs bloodshed was good enough in the NT....but yes there is a heaven, there must be a hell...a suitable dichotomy."
My confusion lies then on: why wouldn't our own bloodshed be enough then? sure, our bloodshed can't be enough for all mankind like Christ's was, but why not our own bloodshed for our own sins? There are plenty of passages in the bible that claim we will not pay for the sins of our fathers. If the bloodshed of an animal were enough for the Jews not to go to Hell, then why isn't our own bloodshed?
Part of my critisism of the Bible is exactly what you talk about Jennifer: its so hard to read it correctly! If this is God's all important message couldn't he have communicated it better? Why would he limit himself to a 2000 year old book?!