1) I now see how Brueggemann was so heavily influenced by Barth. I imagine reading Barth to be like listening to some old Bob Dylan records. They may be a little obscure at first, but as you become familiar with the language of Dylan you realise just how influential he was on all the artists that you like today.
2) With all this talk of "conversation", was Karl Barth the original Emergent Theologian? Look at the picture to the right, imagine him wearing square lenses, and you know it makes sense.
Here's the passage from Church Dogmatics, which I think is astounding:
“What is man, that thou art mindful of him?” Only one answer can be given, namely, that it was and is the good-pleasure of God to be mindful of him, and to act towards him in this way. In other words, it is not accidentally, nor arbitrarily, nor under any constraint or compulsion of a reality distinct from Himself, but in His own freedom that He is this God, that He is God in this way and not another. It is in virtue of this free and basic kindness that He is the God who makes Himself the Partner of man, and man His partner, in this covenant and conversation, even though He does not owe him this, even though man has no right or claim, even though man deserves the very opposite of His address and self-giving. He is mindful of man because to Him as the God He is, His own glory and man’s salvation, man’s salvation and His own glory, are not two things but one.