The verse in question is Titus 2:5 (which, since Metracrock's egalitarianism essays don't address it specifically, I will address). It says in the KJV that wives should "be obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed." But Metacrock is right-- the word translated "be obedient" there is actually the word elsewhere translated "be submissive to." There is another word for "be obedient" which is used by Paul when he tells slaves to obey their masters and children their parents-- but neither Paul nor any other writer of the New Testament uses that word "obey" in the original texts, when speaking of wives' relationship to husbands. The KJV translators, living in a culture where women were expected to obey their husbands, translated the word as "be obedient to." But they were mistaken. In fact, pretty much all of the more modern translations do translate the word in Titus 2:5 as "be submissive to."
The actual Greek word there is "hupotasso," and it is used both in Ephesians 5:21 and in 1 Peter 5:5 to say that ALL Christians should "hupotasso" one another -- that is, yield to, defer to, cooperate with. However, Paul and Peter, who were also writing in times when wives were expected to obey their husbands, still refrained from using that OTHER word "obey" to wives at all.
However, the point is often raised that they do use that word "hupotasso" (submit") most often, to tell those of lower rank and authority in the culture, to yield to those of greater authority. Why would this be? When it comes to Paul, he actually tells us why.
Paul, in I Corinthians 9, speaks at length of what he believes his apostolic calling is all about. In verse 17 he says it is all because “the dispensation of the gospel has been committed to me.” He goes on to say that “unto the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might gain the Jews . . . to them that are without law, as without law. . . I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some.” We would be missing the point of Paul’s letters if we didn’t understand that he saw it as part of his mission to intentionally adapt his message to the cultures he was ministering to.
Paul’s teachings, therefore, about believers’ conduct in the church, in the home and in the outside world, must be viewed as practical advice for functioning in that culture, at that time, as a redeemed community (part of the great story of redemption) in such a way that they would be good witnesses of the gospel to the surrounding cultures in the time they were written. In the first century, for example, that would mean that slaves were advised not to harm the witness of Christ by rising up against their masters. But this doesn’t mean Paul was setting forth God’s approval of the institution of slavery itself. Neither can his message be read as setting forth God's approval of husband-rule over wives.
Paul took certain cultural factors for granted in his letters, and assumed his readers would do the same. The message, after all, was first of all God’s word to them, not to us. (The words at the beginnings of his letters in which he specifies his audience, are also part of Scripture and are there for a reason-- that we might understand that his letters were INTENDED to be read within a certain cultural/historical context.) What were the cultural understandings of his society? They included slavery, male domination, the rule of Caesars, circumcision as a religious practice of devout Jews only (and never by non-Jews as a simple medical procedure), and so on. These assumptions should not be turned into commands to us to follow the same cultural practices. Rather, within those cultural norms, Paul’s teachings regarding practical Christian living must be viewed in terms of principles– the chief one, according to Paul, being "what will be best for the spread of the gospel in this time and in this place?”
Therefore, Paul said in Titus 2:5 that young wives were to be taught to be “obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.” What does that mean, "that the word of God be not blasphemed?" Does it mean that the Bible is somehow "blasphened" if women don't, in all cultures at all times, obey their husbands? This is what complementarians would have us believe. But in the same passage, in verses 9 and 10 of the same chapter, Paul tells slaves that if they are obedient to their masters, this will "adorn" the message of Christ. Should we return to slavery in today's culture, that the obedience of slaves might adorn the gospel? No-- surely Paul was talking about the way the message was received by the people surrounding them, who were watching the way Christians conducted themselves. Other translations say, "that the gospel not be hindered."
This was the purpose– Christians going against the accepted cultural norms could actually work against the message God wanted them to preach. Therefore, for the sake of the reputation of of the gospel, Christian wives should be submissive, and Christian slaves obedient.
But what about today? Does it help the Christian message today to insist that the husband-wife relationship is to stay within that first-century cultural norm? How many people today are against Christianity because the message complementarians teach --that wives must obey their husbands, that husbands are intended by God to be in authority over their wives-- is morally abhorrent to them? How many people still blame Christians for the reluctance many of them showed, to end the evil institution of slavery?
I have talked to quite a few.
With regards to Doug Wilson's views on this matter, a Proverb comes to mind. "One man's testimony seems right, until another comes and cross-examines him." I have cross-examined Wilson and found his testimony incomplete.