The vulnerability of Isaac’s binding...

Have you played The Binding of Isaac yet? Admittedly, I have this weird obsession with stories that invoke Biblical mythology from a less than sensitive perspective. I find it intriguing to witness how a narrative I believe is perceived from an outsider looking in. What are the things they notice? What pleases them? What offends them? How do they define the concepts they encounter? Concepts like, in this case, vulnerability. The Binding of Isaac is a game that clearly echoes the Biblical account of God asking Abraham to bind and sacrifice his son Isaac (Gen 22). In the Biblical narrative, Abraham obeys and moments before he is about to kill his son, God tells him to stop and provides a lamb for the sacrifice instead. This is one of those Biblical stories that has always bothered me. Sure, God knew of the lamb he would eventually provide, but how could a loving God even ask that of a follower? As a father of a three year old, if God were to ask that of me—I cannot possibly fathom ever saying yes. Vulnerability is not something to be overcome. In the game’s story, Isaac’s mother—who watches Christian television broadcasts—hears the voice of God telling her to separate her son from sin. Eventually she is told the only real way to succeed is to cut her son off from the mortal world, so she locks him in his room. Then she hears the voice telling her to end his life. Isaac, through a crack in his door, hears this and sees his mother carrying a knife and coming towards his room. He finds a trap door to the basement hidden under his rug and jumps down just in time. There, Isaac faces an onslaught of monsters....