The Altar and the Door by Casting Crowns

A fellow believer contacted me recently asking if I’d listened to any recent Casting Crowns albums. He’d stumbled across the site, entirely accidentally, and saw my post about Casting Crowns’ Lifesong album. I followed that post up a couple of months later with another take, in which I took a deeper look at their music—not just their musical style, but the words and the emotions behind their music—and I realized that there was so much more to be heard.

Since that time, Casting Crowns released a third album, The Altar and The Door, and although I bought the album right away I hadn’t bothered to post my thoughts about the album here. Since I hadn’t mentioned anything about it here, the reader who contacted me wondered if I’d listened to this latest album, as he had been particularly moved by the song “Somewhere in the Middle.”

In this latest album, Casting Crowns continues to show an incredible gift for making music that directly attacks real-life issues. Their songs tackle everyday, real-world problems that Christians deal with. Take, for example, their song “East to West.” In this song, Casting Crowns reminds us that when God forgives us of our sins, they are forgotten and never brought up again. If you are being attacked by the sins of yesterday, that’s not God, for He cast your sins “as far as the east is from the west.” What a powerful reminder! This is something that I suspect many Christians deal with on a daily basis—the Enemy throwing our sins of the past back in our face again.

Similarly, “Somewhere in the Middle” and the title track “The Altar and The Door” speak to the struggles that we all face in our Christian walk. There are so many times that we strive to make a change, that we seek to move closer to Him, only to lose our resolve “somewhere between the altar and the door.” Thus, we find ourselves in the middle, stuck between “who I was and who You’re making me”.

I could go on and on. “Every Man” talks to how Christ is the hope of every man. “Slow Fade” speaks of how so many of us ignore the “small” things that can lead us astray, not noticing how far we’ve gone until it’s too late. “Familes never crumble in a day…”

If you are looking for music that hits squarely where the real world meets the Christian walk, look no further. The Altar and The Door will provide strong encouragement that Christ’s love remains constant, even if we don’t.

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  1. Chris’s avatar

    The lyrics are powerful, and the music emotional, but the style has lost my interest somehow. I liked their first album, but haven’t bought their next two. Its just not for me musically.

    I loved Delirious? early stuff (saw the Cutting Edge band in southampton), and DC Talk were rockin. Now I’m hunting for great new bands/albums. Its gotta be proudly Christian, none of this hiding Jesus behind a vague love song. I’ve worked through David Crowder, Kutless, Leeland and I’ve still not found what I’m after. Its all personal tastes though isn’t it.

  2. slowe’s avatar

    Chris,

    The style of their second and third albums is different than the first, you’re right about that. That happens to bands; for example, I liked the older stuff by Jars of Clay, but don’t really like their new stuff. Like you said, it’s a matter of personal taste.

    If you liked DC Talk, have you checked on any of Toby Mac’s solo albums? His latest, Portable Sounds, is pretty good. I also recently purchased the self-titled Rush of Fools album, and I’m still working my way through that one.

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