In Walter Brueggemann’s most recent volume, An Unsettling God: The Heart of the Hebrew Bible (Fortress, 2009), he discusses God as a dialogic character. I found the following paragraph particularly interesting . . . regular readers of this blog will likely hear hints of my own thought here as well . . .
“Given these several dimensions of mutation, we may judge that the distinctiveness of ‘God’ in Old Testament tradition concerns YHWH’s deep resolve to be a God in relation–in relation to Israel, in relation to creation, in relation to members of Israelite society and of the human community more generally. The power and sovereignty of YHWH is a given in the Old Testament that is rarely called into question. What is readily and often called into question in the text is the character of this God in relation, a defining mark of YHWH that requires a radical revision of our notion of God. The overriding indicator of God in relationship is covenant, which sometimes is understood as a unilateral imosition on the part of YHWH and at other times as a bilateral agreement. It is precisely because the covenant is articulated in so many variations that we are able to conclude that covenantal relatedness makes it impossible for this God to be settled, static, or fixed. This God is always emerging in new ways in response to the requirements of the relationship at hand. This God is fully engaged in interaction with several partners and is variously impinged upon and evoked to new responses and–we may believe–to new dimensions of awareness and resolve. Because so much of the faith of Israel is ‘talking faith’ in liturgy, oracle, and narrative we may say that YHWH is a party to a dialogic exchange that never reaches closure. Rather, like any good dialogue, YHWH is engaged in an interaction with YHWH’s partners that always pushes to a new possibility, that makes demands upon both parties, and that opens up fresh possibilities for the relationship. To be sure, in any particular utterance from YHWH’s side, there may be an accent of finalit. The wonder, however, is that after any such cadence of finality, there is always another text, another utterance, and another engagement” (4-5)