There’s a sacred ADR story in the Book of Genesis, which tells how Abraham tried to negotiate with an angry God to save the city of Sodom from total destruction. The following abridged passage from Genesis 18: 16-33 describes the heart of this negotiation. In reflecting on this story, the question is whether Abraham is a positional negotiator, an interest-based negotiator, or both.

Then Abraham came near [the LORD] and said, “Will you indeed sweep away the righteous with the wicked? Suppose there are fifty righteous within the city; will you then sweep away the place and not forgive it for the fifty righteous who are in it? Far be it from you to do such a thing, to slay the righteous with the wicked, so that the righteous fare as the wicked! Far be that from you! Shall not the Judge of all the earth do what is just?” And the LORD said, “If I find at Sodom fifty righteous in the city, I will forgive the whole place for their sake.” Abraham answered, “…Suppose five of the fifty righteous are lacking? Will you destroy the whole city for lack of five?” And [the LORD] said, “I will not destroy it if I find forty-five there.” [Abraham continues]: “Suppose forty are found there…Suppose thirty are found there…Suppose twenty are found there…Suppose ten are found there.” [Finally the LORD] answered, “For the sake of ten I will not destroy it.” And the LORD went his way, when he had finished speaking to Abraham….

As a postscript, regardless of Abraham’s bargaining styles, in the end he’s not successful in averting Sodom’s destruction. In the next chapter of Genesis, however, Abraham’s nephew Lot is more successful in negotiating with the “angels" sent to destroy Sodom. Lot is able to save himself and his household, except sadly his wife.