The Altar and the Door is the third studio album by American Christian rock band Casting Crowns, released on August 28, 2007 on Beach Street Records and Reunion Records. Produced by Mark A. Miller, the album was inspired by lead singer Mark Hall's experience looking at the MySpace pages of his youth ministry students. The album's main theme is the difference between how Christians feel in church and the compromises they make outside of it. Its musical tone, which Hall says is different and more progressive, incorporates more of a rock sound than their previous, more polished studio efforts.
The Altar and the Door received positive to mixed reviews from critics upon its release. Particular praise was given to the lyrics and the album's overall concept, but some critics felt the album's sound was mediocre and uninventive. The album received the award for Pop/Contemporary Album of the Year at the 39th GMA Dove Awards. It sold 129,000 copies in its first week, a record for a Christian album with no secular media support, enabling a debut at number one on the Billboard Christian Albums chart and number two on the Billboard 200 and Digital Albums charts, only blocked on the latter charts by the soundtrack for High School Musical 2. It later topped the Catalog Albums chart in 2010. The 18th best-selling Christian album of the 2000s, The Altar and the Door has sold 1.2 million copies and has been certified Platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). The lead single from The Altar and the Door, "East to West", was one of the most successful Christian singles of the 2000s, spending a total of 19 weeks atop the Billboard Christian Songs chart and peaking at twenty-five on the Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles chart. While not as successful as "East to West", follow-up singles "Every Man" and "Slow Fade" were both top five hits on the Christian Songs chart.