The Reformation not only placed a high emphasis on Scripture, and expository preaching, but also led to an explosion of confessional writings and catechisms.
The publishers' blurb reads as follows:
In the opinion of B. B. Warfield, the Westminster divines left to posterity not only "the most thoroughly thought-out statement ever penned of the elements of evangelical religion" but also one which breathes "the finest fragrance of spiritual religion. Their most influential work, The Shorter Catechism, was intended as a teaching basis for an introduction to the Christian faith.Memorizing, meditating upon, and studying the Westminster Shorter Catechism is a very good idea for the following reasons:
1. It lays a foundation of biblical truth because it begins with God, his Word, his glory, and that salvation belongs to the Lord.
2. It provides a comprehensive framework for thinking about doctrine and life (see Q. 3).
3. It doesn't divorce doctrine from piety or ethics but deals with all three in a thoroughgoing holistic manner.
4. It makes us think about the faith with clarity and precision, thereby distinguishing truth to be believed from errors that must be denied. I like my doctor to be precise when it comes to diagnosis, and the pharmacist to be precise when selecting medicines for me to use. Since there is much more at stake when it comes to doctrine I value precision!
5. It is memorable. There is an economy of words and a majestic style.
...and of course it is easier to learn than the Larger Catechism (but that is not a good reason).
David Calhoun has a heart warming lecture on "Why I love the Westminster Standards" available for free at the itunes store.