Monday, June 22, 2015

The Fullness of Technology

As an electrical engineer and the son of an electrical engineer, I've always had an affinity for technology. Consequently, I ended up working 27 years at Texas Instruments marketing digital microprocessors to the high-tech electronics industry. Our state of technology is an important indicator of where we are on God's prophetic timeline. Indeed, one of the largest chapters in my book, "End Times Evangelism" addresses the most significant technological signs of Christ's soon return. A recent article by Wilfred Hahn, one of my favorite prophecy columnists, inspired me to document some other observations about technology not addressed in my book.

In his article, Wilfred Hahn points out that we now have all the technology in place for fulfillment of Bible prophecy. He highlights the smart-phone as the last key technical achievement since it facilitates the "love of self" that will consume the average person in the time Christ returns (2 Timothy 3:2). I was surprised to learn that half of all adults on the planet now have a smart-phone with 80% saturation forecasted for the year 2020. 

I would also point out that the smart-phone will make it even easier for all the world to see key events happening in Jerusalem during the Tribulation (Revelation 11:9). Until recently it would have required God's supernatural intervention for the whole world to witness some event happening in Jerusalem. But with satellite communications, the Internet and smart-phones, people can watch developments in other places wherever they are using technology that is now commonly available.

Wilfred Hahn admittedly uses some hyperbole in his claim that we have reached the end of technology. But making such a claim reinforces the idea I discuss in my book that the state of technology is now such that all is ready for the Lord to return: "when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth His Son" (Galatians 4:4, NKJV). As the pervasiveness of the Greek language and presence of Roman roads facilitated the dissemination of the Gospel when our Lord first came, today's technology is such that most of the prophecies associated with His return may be fulfilled through natural means. And this is necessary for determined unbelievers to continue in their unbelief. While God wants everyone to be saved (2 Peter 3:9), freewill must be accommodated and "we walk by faith, not by sight" (2 Corinthians 5:7).

As a former electronics industry insider, I can also add that we have reached the end of the digital processor innovation that made smart-phones possible. That is why Texas Instruments exited the mass market digital processor business. Such processors are now a commodity product with little opportunity for differentiation from a hardware perspective. This state of technology is the direct result of Moore's Law no longer applying to CMOS integrated circuits. CMOS (Complementary Metal Oxide Semiconductor) is the computer chip process used for all advanced digital microprocessors. Back in the day Moore's Law applied, semiconductor manufacturers could double transistor integration, increase processor speed, reduce power and cost every couple years by simply shrinking the chip lithography. But no more, we have reached the physical limits of CMOS capabilities.

Some scoff at the idea that we are done with microprocessor innovation citing research being done to find a replacement for CMOS. But there is nothing on the horizon that offers the same in terms of cost, performance, power and manufacturability. All the hardware innovation that is going on today is in terms of functional block integration. Most of the system innovation that is happening is on the software side. So a case can be made that we have indeed reached the end of electronics technology. We can expect no more significant (life-changing) technological advances in electronics until the Lord returns.

Humanists refuse to believe that we have reached the limits of technology. They believe that the technology we have is due to the inherent inventiveness of mankind. But all the life-changing progress we have made is a gift from God (James 1:17). Our Lord has blessed us with technology that improves the quality of life and, at the same time, makes it possible for prophecy to be fulfilled. 

I do believe that mankind will enjoy more technological innovations, but not until the Millennial Kingdom and the Eternal State which follows. The technological progress we have made to-date was necessary for Bible prophecies to be fulfilled. There are no more advances we can expect for this Age; all the necessary technologies are in place. So I say, come soon Lord Jesus, I am looking forward to the technology You will bless us with in the future. God made this vast universe for us to explore and I know we are getting close to the time we can begin to see it.

No comments:

Post a Comment