Bear Grylls' Christian faith - in five quotes

Bear Grylls says his Christian faith helps him cope with criticism.ITV

He's the world's most famous non-fictional adventurer; the star of numerous jungle-based TV shows and a huge celebrity all over the world. He's also the Chief Scout, and a reported gazillionaire thanks to his branded range of survival knives, hatchets and head-mounted torches. And tonight, Bear Grylls returns to prime time British television screens with his new ITV series, Mission Survive, in which he'll take eight famous faces into the jungle for a sort of nightmare version of I'm a Celebrity.

Famously, Bear is also a committed Christian, a subject which almost always comes up in interviews. Here are just a few of the ways he's explained his faith to those interviewers, from talking about his own 'conversion' to Christianity, to painting a picture of the radical Jesus to whom he's drawn.

1. Bear on his 'conversion' moment

"I remember praying a simple prayer up a tree one evening and saying, 'God, if you're like I knew you as a kid, would you be that friend again?' And it was no more complicated than that. And actually the amazing thing is that all God asks is that we sort of open the door and He'll do the rest. So often we kinda hide behind our yearning for love and acceptance with loads of complicated theological questions, and actually once that's stripped away what we really are is just somebody who wants to have that relationship with your Father."

(From an interview with Relevant magazine.)

2. Bear on personal faith

"Faith is personal if it's to be real. And I think things that are personal are sometimes hard to talk about. And I think Brits are especially bad at that. But I've definitely learned over my life through a lot of difficult times — whether it's military stuff or losing people on big expeditions on high mountains — I've definitely learned it takes a proud man to say he never needs any help. I'm not that man. I do need some help sometimes. And my faith has been that to me. It's been a real quiet strength and a real glue to our family, as well. For me to be able to climb big mountains with a person I feel has made these mountains is a huge privilege."

(From an interview with NPR's All Things Considered radio programme)

3. Bear on the radical Jesus

"The journey's been that faith has been the wildest ride. And Jesus, the heart of the Christian faith is the wildest, most radical guy you'd ever come across. He was always hanging around with the prostitutes and the tax collectors and having parties and banquets, and I found myself drawn to that character, not the kind of fluff that we like to box as religion."

(From an interview with CBN's The 700 club)

4. Bear on drawing strength from God

"My faith isn't very churchy, it's a pretty personal, intimate thing and has been a huge source of strength in moments of life and death. At the heart of Christianity is the belief that we are loved and held and forgiven, and I try not to complicate my faith beyond that."

(From an interview with the Daily Telegraph)

5. Bear on faith vs religion

"Christianity is not about religion. It's about faith, about being held, about being forgiven. It's about finding joy and finding home. We all want that, but nobody wants religion. Why do people turn away from faith? They're not, they're turning away from religion most of the time. I've yet to meet anyone who doesn't want to be forgiven or held or find peace or joy in their life. We try loads of other stuff—we think booze or foxy women or whatever will fill it—but it doesn't fill the hole."

(From an interview with Relevant magazine.)

Martin Saunders is an author, screenwriter and the Deputy CEO of Youthscape. Follow him on Twitter @martinsaunders