Craig has recently been discussing a definition of ‘Grace’, here and here. I just started reading Paul Molnar’s: Thomas F. Torrance: Theologian Of The Trinity, and Molnar provides some great quotes from TFT which actually help to answer Craig’s recent queries:

. . . His sermons [Torrance’s] during his time at Alyth [a church Torrance pastored] were both pastoral and theological in emphasis. For instance, in explaining the meaning of “grace”, Torrance said, “GRACE, from its very nature, has only one direction which it can take. Grace always flows down.” He was, of course, referring to the love of God revealed in the incarnation of God in Jesus Christ: “Grace is the love of God in princely condescension. It is the love of God to those who do not deserve his love, the indifferent and disloyal, whose only claim is their need.” This thinking is certainly in line with the main ideas expressed in his doctoral dissertation as when Torrance writes:

Grace means the primary and constitutive act in which out of free love God has intervened to set our life on a wholly new basis, but also means that through faith this may be actualised in flesh and blood because it has been actualised in Jesus Christ, who by the Cross and the Resurrection becomes our salvation, our righteousness, and our wisdom. Thus any attempt to detach grace in a transferred sense from the actual embodiment of God’s grace in Jesus Christ is to misunderstand the meaning of the Pauline charis altogether . . . Paul deliberately avoided using charis in the sense of an energising principle, though that is the way in which charis, due to Hellenistic influences, came to be used in later Christian literature.

For Torrance,

Christ Himself is the objective ground and content of charis in every instance of its special Christian use . . . [in the New Testament] charis refers to the being and action of God as revealed and actualised in Jesus Christ, for He is in His person and work the self-giving of God to men . . . Grace is in fact identical with Jesus Christ in person and word and deed . . . neither action nor the gift is separable from the person of the giver.

The ideas expressed here were so decisively important that they were to affect all of Torrance’s theology throughout his career. In particular, because Torrance emphasized that grace is identical with the Giver (Jesus Christ) he opposed all attempts to detach grace from Christ acting among us and locate it within experience as a moral quality or something within our religious consciousness. . . . [brackets mine, except for the last one in the Torrance quote] {The “double quoted material” is Molnar quoting Torrance’s doctoral dissertation: “The Doctrine of Grace in the Apostolic Fathers”} (Paul D. Molnar, “Thomas F. Torrance: Theologian Of The Trinity,” 9-10)

I think sometimes the reticence to grant something like what Torrance is saying with “Biblical purchase” is informed by a belief that is not justified. The belief is, is if we cannot come to our “Christian” conclusions about certain theological loci like “Grace” without appealing to lexical analysis and semantic range; then our conclusions are the results of abstract theologizing and not sound Biblical exegesis. At least I am afraid, for some of my brethren, that this is what they might think about how Torrance is thinking. But I think this might be too quick of a conclusion; Torrance is working with the lexica and exegetica, yet he is not stopping there, he is taking the grammar provided by such work and then working out the ‘inner logic’ or implications of how that kind of “Biblical grammar” hangs together in the first place. In other words, as I have said before somewhere, the lexical and syntactical analyses only serve to bear witness to their subject — viz. Jesus Christ.