Islam and the Question of Freedom

Rev. John C. Rankin

As a minister of the Gospel, my agenda toward the Muslim world is simple: I want to see all Muslim people enjoy the fullness of religious, political and economic freedom.

The Gospel, the “Good News,” is rooted in the assumptions of the biblical order of creation, and is fulfilled in Jesus.

I also assume that the best way to advance such freedom is by a mutual embrace of honest questions. This starts with my freedom to receive any and all questions Muslim people might have of me. I am always free to be persuaded by the evidence.

Up front, here are five central questions I have for the Muslim world:

  1. What is the interpretive place of Surah 2:256? It says: “Let there be no compulsion in religion: truth stands out clear from error.”
  2. Does Surah 2:256 equal full religious freedom where all people are free to choose what they believe, and to change those beliefs if desired and convinced?
  3. To what extent has Islam across 1400 years been a one-way religion, where you may become a Muslim, but you may not leave Islam?
  4. How does the idea of a one-way religion square with Surah 2:256?
  5. I believe, too, that political and economic freedom depends on religious freedom. Thus, can religious, political and economic freedom exist side by side with a one-way religion?

And at Only Genesis and Questions for Islam, a larger series of questions is introduced.


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House of Lords 17 October 2017

Text of John Rankin’s address on the occasion of the 500th annive5rsary of the Reformation.