Anniversary of a Revolution

Twenty-five years ago this week - November 15, 1971 - a small company in California (Intel) announced the creation of the first general-purpose microprocessor. Hardly sounds like the beginnings of a revolution, does it? Except that this modest piece of electronic equipment has swept the world and re-shaped it, perhaps like nothing else has in that time.

In twenty-five years, the microprocessor has found its way into offices, telephones, homes, kitchens, cars, televisions, hi-fi, watches, and even smart-cards (credit-card size pieces of plastic that store information) to name but a few. Today’s microprocessors can process 381 million instructions per second, and contain 5.5 million transistors on a silicon chip the size of a thumbnail. (This represents a growth in speed of 6.35 million per cent, and in the number of transistors of 2000%). And it only took twenty-five years.

As stunning a revolution as that has been, it has been accompanied on a broader scale by an equally significant shift in people’s attitudes - the breakdown of families and societies, the increase in suicide, cancer, and serious crime. With all that increased potential, there has been increased despair. A greater revolution is still needed.

When Jesus ascended to heaven, he left behind 11 men, with the task of transforming the world. It seems that it took them about the same time to spread the gospel through the then known world. Lives were dramatically changed, societies turned on their heads.

Christianity offers a greater revolution in this world than the microprocessor has ever brought. Computers badged with “Intel inside” are nothing compared to those who wear the badge “Jesus inside” - a far greater revolution.

November 17, 1996
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